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Differences between men and women in the management of unstable angina pectoris (The GUARANTEE Registry). The GUARANTEE Investigators.

Few data are available in prospectively collected cohorts of patients with unstable angina pectoris or on the use of appropriate medications or interventions. Accordingly, we evaluated 2,948 consecutive patients with unstable angina admitted to 35 hospitals in the United States in 1996, and comparing men and women (39% of the patients were women). Differences were seen in coronary risk profiles with a higher incidence of systemic hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and a family history of coronary disease in women. Women were less likely to receive Agency for Health Care Policy Research (AHCPR) recommended pharmacologic treatment than men. Cardiac catheterization, coronary angioplasty, and bypass was performed less often in women compared with men (44% vs. 53%, p = 0.002; 12% vs. 18%, p = 0.02; 7% vs. 10%, p = 0.001, respectively). At catheterization, women were more likely to have no significant coronary artery disease (25% vs. 14%, p = 0.001). Although fewer women than men fulfilled the AHCPR criteria for cardiac catheterization (54% vs. 64%, p = 0.001), a similar rate of men and women with positive criteria underwent catheterization and angioplasty. However, fewer women with positive criteria underwent bypass surgery (36% vs. 46%, p = 0.03). More men "ruled-in" for a myocardial infarction at admission (13% vs. 8%, p = 0.001), but there was no difference in recurrent angina, in-hospital myocardial infarction, or death. Despite different epidemiologic profiles and less evidence of coronary artery disease by noninvasive and invasive tests, women and men had similar outcomes.

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