Clinical Features Differ for Men and Women With Heart Failure

But clinical presentation, quality of care, and in-hospital mortality are similar for men and women

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Compared to men, women hospitalized for heart failure have different clinical characteristics and length of hospital stay, but similar clinical presentations, in-hospital mortality, and quality of care for most parameters, according to a study published online Aug. 23 in Circulation: Heart Failure.

Liviu Klein, M.D., from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, and colleagues investigated the relationships between gender, clinical characteristics, presenting symptoms, medical management, quality-of-care measures, and outcomes for 99,841 patients hospitalized with heart failure at 248 hospitals participating in the American Heart Association's Get With the Guidelines-Heart Failure registry.

The investigators found that women constituted 50 percent of total heart failure admissions, and, compared to men, they were older (mean age 74), more likely to have hypertension, and less likely to have coronary disease or renal insufficiency. Although the presenting symptoms were similar, women had higher admission systolic blood pressure and ejection fraction than men. Women were less likely than men to have left ventricular function measurement (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 0.81), receive anticoagulation for atrial fibrillation (OR, 0.91), or implantable cardioverter defibrillators (OR, 0.70), but they were as likely to receive discharge instructions, smoking cessation counseling, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin receptor blockers, and beta-blockers at discharge. Although the median length of stay was four days, women were more likely than men to stay in the hospital for more than four (OR, 1.13) or seven days (OR, 1.07). Women and men had comparable in-hospital mortality (OR, 1.05).

"Compared to men, women hospitalized for heart failure differ in many clinical characteristics and length of stay, but have similar clinical presentations, receive similar quality of care for most but not all measures, and experience similar in-hospital mortality," the authors write.

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