Physicians' Academy for Cardiovascular Education

AHA Scientific Statement on sex-specific characteristics of acute myocardial infarction in women

News - Jan. 27, 2016

Acute Myocardial Infarction in Women -A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association

Mehta LS, Beckie TM, Devon HA et al.,
Circulation. Originally published January 25, 2016
For the first time, the American Heart Association has composed a scientific statement on acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in women.
Differences exist between the sexes in the presentation, pathophysiological mechanisms and outcomes in patients with AMI. Annual CVD mortality rate and prevalence of CVD in the United States are higher in women than men. Great improvement has been seen over the past two decades, but coronary heart disease (CHD) remains understudied, underdiagnosed and undertreated in women.
Historically, not much medical research has been dedicated to health needs in women. More attention on sex-specific CVD research in the past two decades has led to better understanding of sex-specific pathophysiology, but still female subjects remain underrepresented in clinical studies.

Recent insights suggest that atherosclerotic plaque characteristics are different in women and that microvascular disease may play a larger role in development of coronary events. Women have been shown to have less severe obstructive disease of coronary arteries at a higher age and risk profile, and at greater symptom burden of angina and morbidity and mortality than men, at elective angiography. Women turn out to be less likely to receive guideline recommended medical therapy, to undergo cardiac catheterisation and less likely to receive timely perfusion.

As a contribution to improving CHD morbidity and mortality in women, this AHA Scientific Statement provides a comprehensive review of the current evidence and epidemiology, clinical presentation, pathophysiology, treatment and outcomes of women with AMI.

Find the full Scientific Statement online at Circulation

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