The risk of dying in Germany of a myocardial infarction is not higher for women than for men. In the current issue of Deutsches Ärzteblatt International (Dtsch Arztebl Int 2008; 105(15): 279-85), PD Dr. Günther Heller et al. describe how they disproved this widely held view.
In this study, the authors analyzed the medical data from AOK (a large general statutory health insurance company) patients who had received hospital treatment for a myocardial infarction between 2004 and 2005. Within this period, 57,000 women and 75,000 men insured by AOK suffered from a myocardial infarction somewhere in Germany. After allowing for the age of the patients, there was no difference in mortality between men and women. This contradicts and disproves the hypothesis that a myocardial infarction is not so reliably recognized in women as in men, so that women sometimes receive inadequate care. Mortality was only slightly increased in the small group of women under 50 years of age, in comparison with men of the same age.