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Poor Cardiovascular Outcomes for U.S. Women

Women less likely than men to have cardiac surgical interventions and less likely to survive

THURSDAY, May 12 (HealthDay News) -- In the United States, women have worse cardiovascular treatment and outcomes than men, according to the Women's Health in American Hospitals report released on May 3 by HealthGrades.

Richard May, M.D., and colleagues from HealthGrades analyzed more than five million Medicare patient records from 2007 to 2009. They focused on the 16 most common procedures and diagnoses among women, and identified the hospitals whose nationwide performance for women's health is in the top 5 percent (Women's Health Excellence Award recipients).

The researchers found that female patients treated at hospitals that were recipients of the Women's Health Excellence Award had a 40.56 percent reduced risk-adjusted mortality rate across nine cardiac, pulmonary, and vascular-based diagnoses and procedures. In addition, they had a 16.13 percent reduced risk-adjusted complication rate across five orthopedic procedures compared to those treated at poor performing hospitals. In 2009, more male patients than female heart attack patients received cardiac surgical interventions (45.6 versus 33.5 percent). Female patients who underwent a cardiac intervention, such as coronary bypass surgery or angioplasty, had a 30 percent increased mortality rate compared to men. Admissions for hip fracture are still higher for women than men (74 versus 26 percent), and this has remained stable since 2005.

"Much work remains to be done to better understand the differences between men's and women's health. But many providers are successfully implementing systems of care to more accurately diagnose and treat disease in women," May said in a statement.

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