After Correcting for Worse Baseline Characteristics, Women Treated With Thrombolytic Therapy for Acute Myocardial Infarction Have the Same Mortalit and Morbidit as Men Except for a Higher Incidence of Hemorrhagic Stroke

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In the prethrombolytic era, women with myocardial infarction were reported to have a worse outcome than men. This analysis evaluates the association of sex with morbidity and mortality after thrombolytic therapy.

Methods and Results

Data were analyzed from 8261 of the 8387 randomized patients with acute myocardial infarction who received thrombolytic therapy in the International Tissue Plasminogen Activator/Streptokinase Mortality Study (baseline data were missing for 126 patients) and were followed for 6 months. Women made up 23% (n= 1944) of the study population. Baseline characteristics were worse in women: they were 6 years older, were more likely to have a history of previous infarction (P<.01), antecedent angina (P<.01), hypertension (P<.0001), or diabetes (P<.0001); were in a higher Killip class on admission(P<.0002); and received thrombolytic therapy 18 minutes later than men (P<.0001). Fewer women were smokers (P<.0001). Women had a higher hospital (12.1% versus 7.2%, P<.0001) and 6-month mortality (16.6% versus 10.4%, P<.0001) and were more likely to develop cardiogenic shock (9.1% versus 6.3%, P<.0001), bleeding (7.2% versus 5.3%, P<.01), and hemorrhagic (1% versus 0.3%, P<.001) or total stroke (2.2% versus 1.1%, P<.0001) during hospitalization. Reinfarction rates and requirement for angioplasty or surgery did not differ. After correction for worse baseline characteristics, women had similar morbidity and mortality apart from a significantly higher incidence of hemorrhagic stroke, which remained significant even after accounting for weight and treatment allocation (odds ratio, 2.90; P<.01).


After thrombolytic therapy for acute myocardial infarction, women have similar morbidity and mortality to men but suffer from a higher incidence of hemorrhagic stroke.

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