OBJECTIVES: We hypothesized that significant disparities in gender exist in the management of patients with non-ST-segment elevation (NSTE) acute coronary syndromes (ACS). BACKGROUND: Gender-related differences in the diagnosis and treatment of ACS have important healthcare implications. No large-scale examination of these disparities has been completed since the publication of the revised American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association guidelines for management of patients with NSTE ACS. METHODS: Using data from the CRUSADE (Can Rapid Risk Stratification of Unstable Angina Patients Suppress Adverse Outcomes with Early Implementation of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Guidelines) National Quality Improvement Initiative, we examined differences of gender in treatment and outcomes among patients with NSTE ACS. RESULTS: Women (41% of 35,875 patients) were older (median age 73 vs. 65 years) and more often had diabetes and hypertension. Women were less likely to receive acute heparin, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, and glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors and less commonly received aspirin, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, and statins at discharge. The use of cardiac catheterization and revascularization was higher in men, but among patients with significant coronary disease, percutaneous revascularization was performed in a similar proportion of women and men. Women were at higher risk for unadjusted in-hospital death (5.6% vs. 4.3%), reinfarction (4.0% vs. 3.5%), heart failure (12.1% vs. 8.8%), stroke (1.1% vs. 0.8%), and red blood cell transfusion (17.2% vs. 13.2%), but after adjustment, only transfusion was higher in women. CONCLUSIONS: Despite presenting with higher risk characteristics and having higher in-hospital risk, women with NSTE ACS are treated less aggressively than men.
ASJC Scopus subject areas