Public Release: 

Study emphasizes importance of women in cardiac research

Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

A recent trial, published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology, shows that women with abnormal heart rhythms benefit from implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) as much as men, stressing the importance of including females in future research. Previous studies have raised the concern of possible gender bias, in favor of men, in the evaluation and treatment of heart disease.

The Multicenter UnSustained Tachycardia Trial (MUSTT) studied the influence of gender in 2,202 patients with coronary artery disease and an abnormal heart pumping function across 85 clinical sites. Among the patients studied, characteristics, treatment and outcome were analyzed. The most significant differences noted were that the women in the trial were older, more likely to have had a heart attack within six months of enrollment, more likely to have experienced angina within six weeks prior to enrollment, and less likely to have atrial fibrillation than the men. An overall benefit from the ICD was observed (45% in men and 53% in women) with no significant influence related to gender.

"This [study] has implications for the development of future trials and stresses the importance of making every effort to include women," said Dr. Andrea Russo, lead investigator of MUSTT. "As cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women, this also emphasizes the importance of ensuring that women have access to the ICD, in addition to any other life-saving cardiovascular therapies."

According to the study, "it has been suggested that there is gender bias in referral for invasive treatment and this may have an impact on outcome." However, reasons for the differences may be a matter of age, severity of coronary disease, and other risk factors.

###

This study is published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology. Media wishing to receive PDFs of these articles please contact medicalnews@bos.blackwellpublishing.net.

About the Author
Andrea M. Russo, M.D., received a B.S. in Microbiology from theUniversity of Rochester and her M.D. from the Upstate Medical Center, SUNY Health Science Center. She currently serves as Director of the Clinical Electrophysiology Laboratory at University of Pennsylvania - Presbyterian Medical Center in Philadelphia, PA and Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine. Dr. Russo can be reached for questions through her assistant, Colleen DeJohn, at 212-662-9007.

About the Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology
Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology (JCE) keeps its readership well informed of the latest developments in the study and management of arrhythmic disorders. Edited by Eric N. Prystowsky, M.D., and a distinguished international editorial board, JCE is the leading journal devoted to the study of the electrophysiology of the heart and blood vessels. Each issue of JCE contains peer-reviewed research, original investigations, scholarly reviews, editorials, case reports, and letters to the editor. Special Features appearing each month include Point of View, Arrhythmia Rounds, and Techniques and Technology. In addition, time-sensitive information is frequently published as supplementary issues.

About Blackwell Publishing
Blackwell Publishing is the world's leading society publisher, partnering with more than 550 academic and professional societies. Blackwell publishes over 750 journals and 600 text and reference books annually, across a wide range of academic, medical, and professional subjects

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.