Men Benefit More Than Women from Therapy for Lung Clot

Study suggests differences exist in treatment outcomes after submassive pulmonary embolism

TUESDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Thrombolysis may confer greater benefits in men with submassive pulmonary embolism than in women with the same condition, and women may be at greater risk from side effects such as major hemorrhage, according to the results of a study published in the Jan. 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

Annette Geibel, M.D., of Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg in Germany, and colleagues analyzed outcomes among 428 women and 291 men with acute submassive pulmonary embolism who received thrombolysis less than 24 hours after diagnosis or anticoagulation with heparin alone.

The men who received early clot-busting therapy had reduced death rates compared to men who received heparin alone (2.7 percent versus 11 percent, respectively), but this reduction was not significant in their female counterparts. Men who received early thrombolysis were less likely to die (odds ratio, 0.21). By contrast, women who received early thrombolysis only saw a marginal survival benefit (odds ratio, 0.77). Men who received early thrombolytic therapy were less likely to experience a recurrence than women given the same treatment. Women who received thrombolysis had more than a threefold increase in major bleeding, which was a more pronounced effect than seen in men.

"Our findings add to the growing body of evidence suggesting that gender-specific issues need to be seriously considered when designing controlled therapeutic trials and, in this particular case, a large multi-center trial aimed at resolving the thrombolysis debate in submassive pulmonary embolism," the authors conclude.

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