Men with Angina Face Greater Risk of Heart Attack and Death Compared with Women

August 20, 2009

A recent study shows that “men with angina are twice as likely to have a heart attack and almost three times as likely to suffer a heart disease-related death than women with the same condition.”

According to a news release from the University of Aberdeen, a recent study shows that “men with angina are twice as likely to have a heart attack and almost three times as likely to suffer a heart disease-related death than women with the same condition.”

The study “is the first to link primary and secondary care data with mortality records to assess the risks of angina among men and women.”

Study results published August 6 in BMJ reveal that “researchers based in Scotland and Ireland identified 1,785 patients (average age 62 years) from 40 primary care practices in Scotland who were newly diagnosed with angina between January 1998 and December 2001.” Study participants were monitored for five years. The authors collected data on “underlying conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure” and assessed cardiovascular risk factors such as smoking and obesity.

Analysis of data revealed that the likelihood of undergoing angioplasty or coronary artery bypass surgery was higher in men than in women, but that “neither procedure was associated with significantly improved survival.” The authors reported that “a number of characteristics, including male sex, age, smoking and obesity, in people with a first diagnosis of angina are strongly associated with subsequent risk of a number of cardiac outcomes,” and that “results suggest that appropriate control of risk factors and optimal use of preventative medical treatments should be aggressively pursued in patients with angina.”

Dr. Brian Buckley, Cochrane Research Fellow, Department of General Practice, National University of Ireland, Galway, said that “Angina must be taken seriously. This research really shows how important it is for people with angina to change their lifestyle and take their [medication].”

In the discussion section of the BMJ article, the authors noted that one clinical implication highlighted by the study was “the importance of preventing a subsequent acute myocardial infarction in patients diagnosed with angina.” Because “myocardial infarction was associated with a large hazard ratio for both death from ischaemic heart disease and all cause mortality,” they recommend that “appropriate control of risk factors and optimal use of preventive medical treatments should be aggressively pursued in patients with angina.”