A new study published in the European Heart Journal has stated that women aged 50 years old or younger who suffer a heart attack are more likely to have worse outcomes than men.

The study found that, compared to men, women were less likely to undergo therapeutic invasive procedures after their admission to hospital with a heart attack, or to be treated with certain medical therapies upon discharge from hospital, like aspirin, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitor and statins.

Ron Blankstein, a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and a Preventative Cardiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, stated that there were no initial statistical differences between men and women when they had a heart attack and were admitted to hospital—but it was the follow-up period that showed a difference.

The study showed that during the 11 years that follow a heart attack, men and women have similar risk of complications, but after that period had passed women had a 1.6-fold increased risk of a bad outcome.

“It’s important to note that overall most heart attacks in people under the age of 50 occur in men. Only 19% of the people in this study were women,” said Professor Blankstein.

In an accompanying editorial, Dr Marysia Tweet, an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science, said: “This study demonstrates the continued need—and obligation—to study and improve the incidence and mortality trajectory of cardiovascular disease in the young, especially women.”

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