Coronary artery disease is becoming the leading cause of death in women in Western society. However, the available data shows that women are still underdiagnosed and undertreated with guideline-recommended secondary prevention therapy, leading to a significantly higher rate of in-hospital complications and in-hospital mortality.
The main objective of this work is to assess the approach to acute coronary syndrome (ACS) in Portugal, including form of presentation, in-hospital treatment and in-hospital complications, according to gender and in three different periods.
We performed an observational study with retrospective analysis of all patients included between 2002 and 2019 in the Portuguese Registry of Acute Coronary Syndromes (ProACS), a voluntary, observational, prospective, continuous registry of the Portuguese Society of Cardiology and the National Center for Data Collection in Cardiology.
A total of 49 113 patients (34 936 men and 14 177 women) were included. Obesity, hypertension, diabetes (p<0.001 for all) and dyslipidemia (p=0.022) were all more prevalent in women, who were more frequently admitted for non-ST segment elevation ACS (p<0.001), and more frequently presented with atypical symptoms. Women had more time until needle and until reperfusion, which is less accessible to this gender (p<0.001). During hospitalization, women had a significantly higher risk of in-hospital mortality (OR 1.94 [1.78-2.12], p<0.001), major bleeding (OR 1.53 [1.30-1.80], p<0.001), heart failure (OR 1.87 [1.78-1.97], p<0.001), atrial fibrillation (OR 1.55 [1.36-1.77], p<0.001), mechanical complications (OR 2.12 [1.78-2.53], p<0.001), cardiogenic shock (OR 1.71 [1.57-1.87], p<0.001) and stroke (OR 2.15 [1.76-2.62], p<0.001). Women were more likely to have a normal coronary angiogram or coronary lesions with <50% luminal stenosis (p<0.001 for both), and thus a final diagnosis other than ACS. Both during hospitalization and at hospital discharge, women were less likely to receive guideline-recommended secondary prevention therapy.
In women admitted for ACS, revascularization strategies are still underused, as is guideline-recommended secondary prevention therapy, which may explain their higher incidence of in-hospital complications and higher unadjusted mortality.

Copyright © 2020 Sociedade Portuguesa de Cardiologia. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.