Gender Differences in Health Status Outcomes | Journal Scan

Study Questions:

What are the gender differences in health status over time from baseline to 12 months post–acute myocardial infarction (AMI)?


The VIRGO study investigators enrolled a total of 3,501 AMI patients (67% women), aged 18-55 years, from 103 United States/24 Spanish hospitals. Data were obtained by medical record abstraction and patient interviews at baseline hospitalization, 1 month, and 12 months post-AMI. Health status was measured by generic (Short Form-12 [SF-12]) and disease-specific (Seattle angina questionnaire [SAQ]) measures. The authors compared health status scores at all three time points, and utilized longitudinal linear mixed-effects analyses to examine the independent effect of gender, adjusting for time and selected covariates.


Women had significantly lower health status scores than men at each assessment (all p values < 0.0001). Following adjustment for time and all covariates, women had SF-12 physical/mental summary scores that were -0.96 (95% confidence interval [CI], -1.59, - 0.32) and -2.36 points lower (95% CI, -2.99, -1.72) than men, as well as worse SAQ physical limitations (-2.44 points lower; 95% CI, -3.53, -1.34), more angina (-1.03 points lower; 95% CI, -1.98, -0.07), and poorer quality of life (-3.51 points lower; 95% CI, -4.80, -2.22) than men.


The authors concluded that women have poorer scores than men on all health status measures following AMI, a difference that persisted throughout the entire year after discharge.


This study suggests that young women with AMI have worse health status outcomes than similarly aged men. Although both genders recover similarly over time with regard to their health status, women have significantly poorer scores than men on all health status domains, from baseline to 12 months post-AMI. These findings indicate a better need to understand the outpatient care of young women at risk for AMI, and require a combination of attention toward their cardiovascular health, as well as factors that may have impaired their health status in the pre-AMI setting.

Clinical Topics: Acute Coronary Syndromes

Keywords: Acute Coronary Syndrome, Angina Pectoris, Angina, Unstable, Female, Health Status, Hospitalization, Medical Records, Myocardial Infarction, Prognosis, Quality of Life, Questionnaires

< Back to Listings