Researchers from Emory University say that the number of younger women dying in the hospital after heart attack has significantly decreased in recent years.
Over the last decade several studies showed that younger women, but not older ones, are more likely to die in the hospital after myocardial infarction (MI) than age-matched men.
However, the new study has shown that younger women have experienced larger improvements in hospital mortality after myocardial infarction (MI) than men.
"We found that the number of younger women who die in the hospital after a heart attack, compared with men in the same age group, has narrowed over the last few years," says study leader Dr Viola Vaccarino, professor of medicine (cardiology), and director of the Emory Program in Cardiovascular Outcomes Research and Epidemiology.
She said that changes in patient characteristics and treatments over time accounted in part for the changing mortality trends.
During the study, researchers investigated MI mortality trends according to sex and age in five age groups during a 12-year period from 1994 to 2006.
The researchers found that hospital mortality declined markedly between 1994 and 2006 in all patients but more so in women than in men.
The mortality reduction in 2006 relative to 1994 was largest in women under the age of 55 years (53 percent) and lowest in men under the age of 55 years (33 percent).
In patients younger than 55, the absolute decline in mortality was three times larger in women than in men.
The study is published in Archives of Internal Medicine.