Previous studies have indicated that sex differences may exist in the pharmacological management of acute myocardial infarction (AMI), with female patients being treated less aggressively.
To determine if previously reported sex differences in AMI medication use were also evident among all AMI patients treated at hospitals in an urban Canadian city.
All patients who had a primary discharge diagnosis of AMI from all three adult care hospitals in Calgary, Alberta, in the 1998/1999 fiscal year were identified from hospital administrative records (n=914). A standardized, detailed chart review was conducted. Information collected from the medical charts included sociodemographic and clinical characteristics, comorbid conditions, and cardiovascular medication use during hospitalization and at discharge.
Similar proportions of female and male patients were treated with thrombolytics, beta-blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, nitrate, heparin, diuretics and digoxin. Among patients aged 75 years and over, a smaller proportion of female patients received acetylsalicylic acid in hospital than did male patients (87% versus 95%; P=0.026). Multivariable logistic regression analysis revealed that, after correction for age, use of other anticoagulants/antiplatelets and death within 24 h of admission, sex was no longer an independent predictor for receipt of acetylsalicylic acid in hospital. Medications prescribed at discharge were similar between male and female patients.
The results from this Canadian chart review study, derived from detailed clinical data, indicate that the pattern of pharmacological treatment of female and male AMI patients during hospitalization and at discharge was very similar. No sex differences were evident in the treatment of AMI among patients treated in an urban Canadian centre.