The Particulars: Previous research shows that women with coronary artery disease (CAD) younger than age 60 have higher rates of mental-stress-induced ischemia than men with CAD. Whether this effect is specific to younger women with CAD has not been well defined.

Data Breakdown: Patients with stable CAD aged 38 to 79 were enrolled in a study and divided into those aged 55 or younger, aged 56 to 64, and aged 65 or older. All participants underwent a standardized mental stress test. Women aged 55 or younger were three times more likely than men in the same age range to exhibit myocardial ischemia after the stress test. Among those aged 56 to 64, the stress-related myocardial perfusion deficit was twice as large in women as in men. Among those aged 65 and older, however, gender differences were no longer observed.

Take Home Pearl: Younger women with CAD appear to be more vulnerable to ischemia that is secondary to psychological stress than same-aged men and older women.