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Women Often Do Worse Than Men Following a Heart Attack

Women and Heart DiseaseWomen fare worse than men after a heart attack, with longer hospital stays and a greater likelihood of dying in the hospital afterward, a recent study says.

The good news is that the death rates for women after a heart attack are declining significantly.

The study, by researchers at Yale University, analyzed the largest hospital inpatient care database in the United States. Researchers compared data on clinical characteristics, heart attack hospitalization rates, length of hospital stays and in-hospital deaths for heart attack patients ages 30 to 54.

Among the study’s other findings:

  • Heart attack hospitalization rates for young people have stayed the same from 2001 to 2010.

  • Older adults saw a 20 percent  decline in hospitalization rates for heart attacks during the same time period.

  • Young women – especially African-American women – who have heart attacks often have other serious medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart failure at the time of their heart attack.

  • Among heart attack patients younger than 55, men were more likely to have high cholesterol.

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