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Clin Cardiol. 2010 Jan;33(1):36-41. doi: 10.1002/clc.20701.

Receipt of cardiac medications upon discharge among men and women with acute coronary syndrome and nonobstructive coronary artery disease.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Section of Cardiology, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, New Hampshire, USA.



Management of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) patients with nonobstructive epicardial coronary artery disease (CAD) remains poorly understood.


Acute coronary syndrome patients with nonobstructive CAD are less likely to receive effective cardiac medications upon discharge from the hospital.


We identified patients hospitalized with ACS that underwent coronary angiography and had a 6-month follow-up. Patients were grouped by CAD severity: nonobstructive CAD (<50% blockage in all vessels) or obstructive CAD (> or =50% blockage in > or = 1 vessels). Data were collected on demographics, medications at discharge, and adverse outcomes at 6 months, for all patients.


Of the 2264 ACS patients included in the study: 123 patients had nonobstructive CAD and 2141 had obstructive CAD. Cardiac risk factors including hypertension and diabetes were common among patients with nonobstructive CAD. Men and women with nonobstructive CAD were less likely to receive cardiac medications compared to patients with obstructive CAD including aspirin (87.8% vs 95.0%, P = 0.001), beta-blockers (74.0% vs 89.2%, P < 0.001), or statins (69.1% vs 81.2%, P = 0.001). No gender-related differences in discharge medications were observed for patients with nonobstructive CAD. However, women with nonobstructive CAD had similar rates of cardiac-related rehospitalization as men with obstructive CAD (23.3% and 25.9%, respectively).


Patients with nonobstructive CAD are less likely to receive evidence-based medications compared to patients with obstructive CAD, despite the presence of CAD risk factors and occurrence of an ACS event. Further research is warranted to determine if receipt of effective cardiac medications among patients with nonobstructive CAD would reduce cardiac-related events.

Copyright 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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