• Vol. 39 No. 3, 173–178
  • 15 March 2010

Gender Disparity in Patients Undergoing Percutaneous Coronary Intervention for Acute Coronary Syndromes – Does it Still Exist in Contemporary Practice?



Introduction: Prior studies have demonstrated evidence of a disparity in the treatment and outcome of male compared to female patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).

Materials and Methods: From a dedicated database, we retrospectively analysed all consecutive patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) admitted to our institution for PCI in 2008. Baseline and procedural characteristics as well as complications were then evaluated for male patients (n = 331) as compared with female patients (n = 137).

Results: Women were noted to be older at the time of presentation (66.1 ± 10.0 vs 60.7 ± 11.6 years, P <0.00001), the groups were otherwise well matched in terms of baseline characteristics. Female patients were treated with significantly smaller diameter stents (2.86 ± 0.44 vs 2.96 ± 0.50 mm, P = 0.04), though the proportion of drug-eluting stents was similar (53.7% vs 50.5%, P = 0.5). Female patients were significantly less likely to receive optimal medical therapy with lesser use of glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitor (26.3% vs 55.3%, P <0.0000001), and beta-blockers (83.9% vs 90.9%, P = 0.04). At 30 days, there were no differences in the rate of major adverse cerebrovascular or cardiac events (2.9% vs 3.9%, P = 0.8), though females had a significantly higher rate of femoral access site pseudoaneurysm (4.4% vs 0.9%, P = 0.02).

Conclusions: There remains evidence for continued gender disparity in contemporary practice; despite evidence for efficacy in ACS patients, females received a notably lower use of glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors and beta-blockers. Women are also significantly more likely to develop femoral access site complications with pseudoaneurysm development; it is important therefore to optimise procedures for sheath removal in female patients or give strong consideration to the use of radial access site.

Globally, cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the single most common cause of death among women; and in parallel with an increasing life expectancy, the proportion of women who have CVD is also rising. Registry data demonstrate that women tend to be 10 years older than men at the time of presentation with CVD.

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