Risk of rehospitalization in younger women after heart attack nearly double that of men

3 May 2023 • Women aged 55 years and younger have nearly double the risk of rehospitalization in the year immediately after a heart attack compared to men of similar age, according to a study published this week in the Journal of American College of Cardiology. Higher rates of risk factors such as obesity, heart failure, and depression among women most likely contributed to the disparity.

The VIRGO study included 2,979 patients – 2,007 women and 972 men – at 103 U.S. hospitals. The participants were an average age of 48 years and from ethnically and racially diverse populations. What did the study find?

  • The analysis showed that nearly 30% of these patients were rehospitalized in the year after first leaving the hospital following a heart attack.
  • All-cause hospitalization rates within one year of discharge were 34.8% for women and 23% for men. The leading cause of hospitalizations for women were coronary-related, followed by non-cardiac then other cardiac and stroke-related hospitalizations.
  • The rate of coronary-related complications for women was nearly 1.5 times higher than that of men
  • The researchers concluded that women had nearly twice the risk (1.65 times higher risk) of rehospitalization than men.

According to the researchers, the findings demonstrate the need for continued efforts to optimize secondary preventive strategies to reduce coronary-related hospitalizations, but also highlight the need for further research into the causes and mechanisms of non-cardiac hospitalization especially given the significant sex disparity.

Source: JACC | Read full story

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