The Particulars: Women account for one-third of the 500,000 patients who receive stents annually in the United States. However, only about 25% of patients in drug-eluting stent trials are women. Whether women benefit from drug-eluting stents as much as men has not been confirmed in the literature.

Data Breakdown: An international study included analyses of patient-level outcomes for 11,557 women enrolled in 26 trials on drug-eluting stents. The overall rates of mortality and heart attack were 9.2% for women treated with newer drug-eluting stents, compared with rates of 10.9% for early generation drug-eluting stents and 12.8% for bare-metal stents. Respective rates for revascularization were 6.3%, 7.8%, and 18.6%.

Take Home Pearls: Women appear to have lower mortality, heart attack, and revascularization rates when treated with drug-eluting stents when compared with bare-metal stents. Newer drug-eluting stents appear to be more effective than early generation versions.