Article: Women Get Worse Care for Heart Attacks with Cardiogenic Shock

A study published in Circulation: Heart Failure concluded that women age 18-55 with Acute Myocardial Infarction – Cardiogenic Shock (AMI-CS), are treated less aggressively and experience higher in-hospital mortality compared to men.

Cardiogenic shock (CS) is the leading cause of death in patients with AMI who reach the hospital alive, with mortality rates greater than 50%. CS is a state of low cardiac output resulting from impaired cardiac function. Women in this age group with AMI-CS were more often Black, with a lower socioeconomic status, with higher comorbidity, and admitted more frequently to rural and small hospitals. They were less likely to receive more aggressive tests and treatments, had higher in-hospital mortality (11%) and had less frequent discharges to home, compared to men.

A separate study in Mayo Clinic Proceedings of women aged 75 years and older reached similar conclusions, including less aggressive tests and treatments and higher in-hospital mortality compared to men. The women were more often Hispanic or nonwhite race and more likely to be discharged to a skilled nursing facility. Researchers noted a likely cause to be conscious and unconscious bias toward women with acute cardiac conditions.