Study findings reveal that the mortality rate for women following a heart attack is twice as high compared to men

Every year in the UK, over 30,000 women are admitted to hospitals due to heart attacks. A recent study from Portugal sheds light on the higher risk of fatality for women in such medical events.

The study examined 884 patients, both male and female, who were hospitalized after experiencing the most severe form of heart attack known as ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). This type of heart attack occurs when the coronary artery becomes completely obstructed, leading to a prolonged interruption of blood supply to the heart.

All the patients received angioplasty to widen the blocked artery and a stent to facilitate better blood flow within 48 hours of symptom onset. The objective of the study was to assess their mortality rates.

The higher likelihood of women dying after heart attacks can be attributed to several factors, such as their advanced age compared to men and generally poorer overall health. The British Heart Foundation has also issued a warning about the unnecessary deaths of thousands of women in the UK due to a higher likelihood of misdiagnosis and delays in receiving life-saving treatments and preventive medications for subsequent heart attacks.

The study, presented at the Heart Failure 2023 conference, organized by the European Society of Cardiology, indicated that women were nearly 2.8 times more likely to die within 30 days compared to men. At that point, 11.8 percent of women had passed away, whereas the figure for men was 4.6 percent.

The risk of mortality for women after heart attacks may be attributed to their tendency to experience them at an older age than men, resulting in poorer overall health.

Dr. Mariana Martinho, the lead author of the study from Hospital Garcia de Orta in Portugal, emphasized the need for regular monitoring, strict control of blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and diabetes, as well as referral to cardiac rehabilitation for women of all ages who have experienced a myocardial infarction. Additionally, efforts should be made to address the rising smoking rates among young women, promote physical activity, and encourage a healthy lifestyle.

The study, conducted between 2010 and 2015, included patients of which 27 percent were women. It revealed that women were, on average, seven years older at the time of their heart attacks. They also exhibited higher rates of conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and previous stroke.

In comparison, men experienced their heart attacks at an average age of 60 and were more likely to be smokers and have coronary artery disease.

Despite accounting for all health conditions, women were still 2.3 times more likely to die within five years of their heart attacks compared to men. During this time, nearly one-third of women had succumbed to mortality, while less than 17 percent of men had.

Within the five-year period following their heart attacks, approximately 34 percent of women experienced either death, another heart attack, a stroke caused by a blocked blood vessel, or were hospitalized due to heart failure, collectively referred to as major adverse cardiac events (MACE). The occurrence of MACE was observed in less than 20 percent of men during the same duration.

All patients received timely angioplasty and stent placement, collectively known as percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).

However, the study discovered that women aged 55 and younger experienced longer delays in treatment after hospital admission. On average, they received treatment after 95 minutes, while men received treatment after 80 minutes.

The researchers conducted a further analysis, matching 435 patients based on age (55 and younger or older than 55) and considering health issues that could influence the

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