Are women at greater risk from angioplasty?

October 18, 2007

Research will be reported at TCT 2007, the annual scientific symposium of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation (CRF), that demonstrates that early intervention saves lives in women who have a heart attack or unstable chest pain.

Responding to media reports of recent studies that emphasized the dangers of angioplasty in women compared to men, Dr. Alexandra J. Lansky, MD, Director of the Angiographic Core Laboratory and the Women's Cardiovascular Health Initiative at the Cardiovascular Research Foundation, said that the comparison to men overshadows the true benefit to women of early intervention.

“Recent news reports suggest that women do not fare as well as men following angioplasty. However, a cumulative view of the research on this topic overwhelmingly indicates that early intervention does benefit women, and in fact, prevents death and heart attacks,” said Alexandra J. Lansky, MD, Director of the Angiographic Core Laboratory and the Women's Cardiovascular Health Initiative at the Cardiovascular Research Foundation.

A national expert on the topic of interventional cardiology in women, Dr. Lansky is the medical director of www.hearthealthywomen.org and is the lead author of the American Heart Association Statement on Interventional Cardiology in Women.

“We should be comparing interventional strategies in women to other therapies in women, in order to determine whether or not they are beneficial. The comparison to men is largely irrelevant,” Dr. Lansky said.

Dr. Lansky will be speaking on this and other topics pertaining to women’s heart health at TCT 2007 during the “Optimizing Care for Women with Cardiovascular Disease” lunchtime workshop on at Monday October 22 from 12:15-1:30 pm. TCT 2007 is being held at the Washington, DC Convention Center. Dr. Lansky is co-chairing this session with Alice Jacobs, MD former president of the American Heart Association.

In women with stable angina, a milder form of chest pain caused by narrowings in coronary arteries that are not immediately life threatening, PCI relieves chest pain symptoms better than medical therapy. In women who have more serious forms of the disease such as unstable chest pain, mild heart attack, or heart attack, PCI improves survival and reduces the chances of having a heart attack in the future.

Dr. Lansky said that women have a higher risk of bleeding complications than men, which may be caused by excessive doses of blood thinners given during the procedure; “but this is not cause enough to withhold life saving procedures from our female patients”.

However, she cautioned that recent studies comparing men to women – often looking at only a few hundred patients -- have been overemphasized and that as a result, the public has been receiving inaccurate messages.

“Everyone is confused: the media, physicians, and patients. Worse yet, women are now afraid to call for help when they need it most.”

“The message to the public should clearly be that early intervention benefits women with acute coronary syndromes (mild and severe heart attacks). Women should not delay coming to the hospital if they suspect a heart attack and should not be afraid should they need an angioplasty - it could save their life” Dr. Lansky said.

Source: Cardiovascular Research Foundation

Explore further: Gender gap in death from heart attack is global, study finds

Related Stories

Gender gap in death from heart attack is global, study finds

April 5, 2016

A global study of gender disparities among patients with the most deadly form of heart attack found that women have double the mortality rate of men. The Yale-led investigation highlights the need for a coordinated international ...

Recommended for you

How the finch changes its tune

August 3, 2015

Like top musicians, songbirds train from a young age to weed out errors and trim variability from their songs, ultimately becoming consistent and reliable performers. But as with human musicians, even the best are not machines. ...

Cow embryos reveal new type of chromosome chimera

May 27, 2016

I've often wondered what happens between the time an egg is fertilized and the time the ball of cells that it becomes nestles into the uterine lining. It's a period that we know very little about, a black box of developmental ...

Shaving time to test antidotes for nerve agents

February 29, 2016

Imagine you wanted to know how much energy it took to bike up a mountain, but couldn't finish the ride to the peak yourself. So, to get the total energy required, you and a team of friends strap energy meters to your bikes ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.