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Women with Non-ST-Elevation MI Older Than Men

About 44 percent of women given clopidogrel, versus 56 percent of men

FRIDAY, July 21 (HealthDay News) -- Women who have non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction tend to be older than men and less likely to have a history of myocardial infarction or coronary artery bypass grafting, and are also less likely to receive reperfusion therapy or clopidogrel, researchers report in the July 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

Tobias Heer, M.D., of Herzzentrum Ludwigshafen in Ludwigshafen, Germany, and colleagues analyzed data on 16,817 patients between 2000 and 2003, including 6,358 patients with non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction.

The researchers found that 34.1 percent of non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction patients were women. On average, they were 7.5 years older than men, and were less likely to have smoked, had a coronary bypass or myocardial infarction. More women had hypertension or diabetes mellitus, but this difference was no longer significant after correcting for age. Fewer women received reperfusion therapy, and 43.4 percent of women received clopidogrel versus 56 percent of men.

"No data are available regarding the severity of presenting chest pain," the authors write. "The presence of atypical symptoms in women may have reduced the initial index of suspicion and therefore the use of reperfusion."

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