Background: Women have had a higher early mortality rate than men after acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in the prethrombolytic and thrombolytic eras. Primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) has been shown to significantly improve survival of patients with AMI, and to be superior to thrombolytic therapy in terms of immediate restoration of normal flow in the infarct-related artery and reduction of recurrent ischemic events. However, the effect of primary PCI on early outcomes of women vs men remains unknown. Therefore, we examined whether there was any difference in term of 30-day mortality between women and men after primary PCI.
Methods and results: Between May 1993 and April 2002, primary PCI was performed in 1,032 consecutive patients (15.3% women and 84.7% men) with AMI. The overall successful reperfusion (final Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction grade 3 flow) and 30-day morality rates were 84.0% and 8.5%, respectively. The rate of successful reperfusion did not differ between women and men (84.8% vs 83.9%, p = 0.77). However, mortality at 30 days was significantly higher in women than in men (14.6% vs 7.4%, p = 0.003). In comparison with men, women were older; had significantly higher incidences of hypertension, diabetes mellitus, complete atrioventricular block, and right ventricular infarction; and had longer times of reperfusion (all p values < 0.05). During hospitalization, advanced congestive heart failure (New York Heart Association class 3 or greater), free wall rupture, and major bleeding complications were more likely to occur in women than in men (all p values < 0.05). Compared with men, the unadjusted odds ratio for 30-day death among women was 2.12 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.27 to 3.53). After adjusting for age, the odds ratio was substantially reduced to 1.66 (95% CI, 0.98 to 2.79). Further adjustment for age and other variables further reduced the odds ratio to 1.06 (95% CI, 0.53 to 2.14).
Conclusions: A gender gap of 30-day mortality existed between women and men with AMI that could not be altered by primary PCI. However, this gap was only an apparent one, and was not truly related to gender alone. In comparison with men, women were older, had significantly higher incidences of comorbidities and major untoward clinical events, and had longer times of reperfusion, which could help explain why the 30-day mortality rate was higher in women than in men.