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Rev Port Cardiol. 2010 Sep;29(9):1383-94.

Female gender: an independent factor in ST-elevation myocardial infarction.

[Article in English, Portuguese]

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Serviço de Cardiologia, Hospital de Faro, EPE, Faro, Portugal.



Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in women. In ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) in particular, the question has been raised whether specific characteristics of women confer a worse prognosis.


To evaluate the differences in STEMI patients between the genders in cardiovascular risk profile, clinical presentation, therapeutic approach and in-hospital and 6-month mortality rates.


We analyzed 1578 patients admitted consecutively with STEMI during a 7-year period (from January 13, 2002 to December 31, 2008). The patients were divided into two groups according to gender, and compared in terms of baseline clinical and demographic characteristics, pre-hospital and in-hospital delay, clinical presentation on admission, reperfusion therapy, severity of coronary disease and in-hospital and 6-month mortality.


Of the 1578 patients, 26% were female. Women were older (by 8 years), and had a higher cardiovascular risk profile. On admission, their clinical presentation was more severe, with a higher frequency of anterior myocardial infarction and acute heart failure symptoms. Women had longer ischemic times and lower rates of reperfusion therapy. Mortality in women was significantly higher than in men, both in-hospital (17.5 vs. 5.3%) and at 6 months (23.5% vs. 8.2%). After adjustment in multivariate analysis, mortality in women remained higher.


The adverse demographic and clinical profile could partially explain the worse prognosis of STEMI in women. This, together with longer pre-hospital delays, led to underuse of reperfusion therapy. Even so, female gender by itself had a negative and independent influence on mortality in STEMI patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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