I Have Read That Women Do Not Do As Well As Men After Angioplasty For A Heart Attack. Is This True?

Question: I Have Read That Women Do Not Do As Well As Men After Angioplasty For A Heart Attack. Is This True And What Is The Reason For This?

Answer: There are data that demonstrate that, on average, when women are taken up to the cath lab to do an angiogram in the setting of an acute heart attack, that women don't do as well, they don't have the same good benefit that we see in men.

The explanation for this is that up to a third of women who are having a heart attack, actually have no blockages in their arteries. And they're having a heart attack because the artery itself is dysfunctional, it is spasming instead of opening. And they don't benefit from an angioplasty because they don't have the plumbing or the blockage kind of problem that angioplasties fix.

When we stratify women and men according to those that have blockages, women and men seem to benefit equally. So it has to do with our understanding, and then selectively treating the right problem with the right treatment. Women that don't have blockages need a different treatment and don't need an angioplasty.

Next: Is It True That Women Do Not Do As Well As Men After Bypass Surgery For A Heart Attack?

Photo: Dr. Noel Bairey-Merz
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