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Angina Prevalence Somewhat Higher in Women Than Men

Since men have universal excess of fatal heart attacks, dichotomy needs further explanation

TUESDAY, March 18 (HealthDay News) -- In countries with widely differing myocardial infarction mortality rates, women have a slightly higher prevalence of stable angina pectoris than men, according to a report published online March 17 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Harry Hemingway, of the University College London Medical School in London, U.K., and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of 74 reports involving 13,331 angina cases in women and 11,511 cases in men from 31 countries.

The researchers found that angina prevalence showed a small female excess with a pooled random-effects sex ratio of 1.20, which was particularly high in the United States (1.40) and among non-white ethnic groups. They also found that the sex ratio was not significantly different depending on the age of the participants, the year the survey began, or the sex ratio for myocardial infarction death.

"The present study adds to current understanding by demonstrating for the first time that the female excess is remarkably consistent across countries with widely differing myocardial infarction mortality rates, spanning four decades of study period and four decades of participant age," the authors write. "Such generalizability suggests an inherent biological basis rather than artifactual explanations. The sex ratio of angina contrasts with the male excess of myocardial infarction, is unexplained, and warrants further study."

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