Since their study also found that the impact of hypertension on mortality or recurrent cardiac events was similar between men and women, the researchers believe there are great opportunities to improve medical therapy and outcomes in women.
Cardiologist Kristin Newby, M.D., of the Duke Clinical Research Institute, presented the results of her analysis today (Nov. 12, 2003) at the 76th annual scientific session of the American Heart Association.
Newby wanted to know how the prevalence and treatment of hypertension varied between the sexes in patients who came to the hospital with an acute coronary syndrome (ACS), which occurs when a patient arrives at the hospital with chest pain and physicians must determine whether or not the symptoms are due to unstable angina or signal a real heart attack.
"Hypertension afflicts more than one billion worldwide and has been proven to be an independent risk factor for death or further cardiac events after ACS," Newby explained. "There is little doubt that hypertensive women with ACS are at a higher unadjusted risk for death or heart attack, but when you statistically adjust for such factors as age, kidney function, diabetes or other heart problems, the risks turn out to be about the same. The difference in outcomes does not appear to be due totally to gender, but at least in part to these and other factors."
To answer that question, Newby consulted data gathered from two related international trials -- SYMPHONY and 2nd SYMPHONY (Sibrafabin vs. aspirin to yield maximum protection from ischemic heart events post-acute coronary syndromes). While these trials were designed to compare the e
Contact: Richard Merritt
Duke University Medical Center