News | December 06, 2011

Heart Attack Risk Differs Between Men and Women

December 6, 2011 – Findings on coronary CT angiography (CTA), a noninvasive test to assess the coronary arteries for blockages, show different risk scenarios for men and women, according to a study presented today at the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a narrowing of the blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart. It is caused by a build-up of fat and other substances that form plaque on vessel walls. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States.

Researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina analyzed the results of coronary CTA on 480 patients, mean age 55, with acute chest pain. Approximately 65 percent of the patients were women, and 35 percent were men. The possibility of acute coronary syndrome was ruled out for each of the patients.

Using coronary CTA, the researchers were able to determine the number of vessel segments with plaque, the severity of the blockage and the composition of the plaque.

"The latest CT scanners are able to produce images that allow us to determine whether the plaque is calcified, non-calcified or mixed," said John W. Nance Jr., M.D., currently a radiology resident at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Md.

By comparing the coronary CTA results with outcome data over a 12.8-month follow-up period, the researchers were able to correlate the extent, severity and type of plaque build-up with the occurrence of major adverse cardiac events, such as a heart attack or coronary bypass surgery. The statistical analysis tested all plaques combined (calcified, non-calcified and mixed) and each individual plaque type separately.

"We found that the risks for cardiovascular events associated with plaque were significantly different between women and men," Nance said.

Within the follow-up period, 70 of the patients experienced major adverse cardiac events, such as death, heart attack, unstable angina or revascularization. In total, 87 major adverse cardiac events occurred among the patients during the follow-up period.

When the outcome data were correlated with the CTA combined plaque findings, the results indicated that women with a large amount of plaque build-up and extensive atherosclerosis are at significantly greater cardiovascular risk than men.

Specifically, the risk for major adverse cardiac events was significantly higher in women than in men when extensive plaque of any kind was present or when more than four artery segments were narrowed.

"This research tells us that extensive coronary plaque is more worrisome in women than the equivalent amount in men," Nance said.

However, when analyzing risk factors associated with the presence of individual types of plaque, the risk for major adverse cardiac events was greater in men, compared to women, when their artery segments contained non-calcified plaque.

Nance said the new data suggested that the atherosclerotic process, or hardening of the arteries, is not necessarily linear and that more research is needed to better understand the disease.

"Our research confirms that coronary CTA provides excellent prognostic information that helps identify risk, but there are gender differences that need to be considered," Nance said.

Coauthors are U. Joseph Schoepf, M.D., Christopher Schlett, M.D., Garrett Rowe, B.S., J. Michael Barraza, B.S., and Fabian Bamberg, M.D., M.P.H.

For more information: RadiologyInfo.org

 

Related Content

Clinical Trial Testing Topical Gel to Reduce Breast Density
News | Breast Density | June 19, 2018
Women with dense breast tissue soon might be adding a new product to their skincare routine to help them fight breast...
New Prostate Cancer Radiotherapy Technique Aims to Preserve Sexual Function
News | Radiation Therapy | June 18, 2018
A multicenter clinical trial being led by UT Southwestern physicians is testing a technique for sparing nerve bundles...
Report Finds Identifying Patients for Lung Cancer Screening Not So Simple
News | Lung Cancer | June 18, 2018
New findings in the current issue of The American Journal of Managed Care suggest that getting the right patients to...
360 Photos | 360 View Photos | June 14, 2018
This is a 360 degree image from the Canon Aquilion 64-slice...
PET/CT Changes Care for 59 Percent of Suspected Recurrent Prostate Cancer Cases
News | Prostate Cancer | June 13, 2018
A recently presented investigational clinical trial evaluated the impact of 18F fluciclovine positron emission...
Accuray TomoTherapy System Beneficial in Two Total Body Irradiation Studies
News | Radiation Therapy | June 13, 2018
Recently published data from two new studies demonstrate the benefits of Accuray’s TomoTherapy System in the delivery...
Women More Likely to Use Other Preventive Health Services Following Mammography
News | Mammography | June 13, 2018
Medicare beneficiaries who undergo breast cancer screening with mammography are more likely than unscreened women to...
Reduced hippocampal volume on MRI

This figure shows reduced hippocampal volume over the course of 6 years as seen on progressive volumetric analysis and also coronal MRI evaluations (arrows).Progressive volume loss in the mesial temporal lobe on MRI is a characteristic imaging feature of AD. This patient was a case of Alzheimer’s Dementia.

 

News | Neuro Imaging | June 12, 2018
According to a UCLA Medical Center study, a new technology shows the potential to help doctors better determine when...
High Prevalence of Atherosclerosis Found in Lower Risk Patients
News | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | June 08, 2018
Whole-body magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) found a surprisingly high prevalence of atherosclerosis in people...
Lung Decision Precision
News | Lung Cancer | June 04, 2018
For smokers and former smokers, the threat of lung cancer always lurks in the shadows.
Overlay Init