Gender Differences in the Trajectory of Recovery in Health Status Among Young Patients With Acute Myocardial Infarction: Results From the VIRGO Study
Background—Despite the excess risk of mortality in young women (≤55 years) following acute myocardial infarction (AMI), little is known about young women's health status (symptoms, functioning, quality of life) during the first year of recovery after an AMI. We examined gender differences in health status over time from baseline to 12-months post AMI.
Methods and Results—A total of 3,501 AMI patients (67% women) aged 18-55 years were enrolled from 103 United States/24 Spanish hospitals. Data were obtained by medical record abstraction/patient interviews at baseline hospitalization, 1- and 12-months post AMI. Health status was measured by generic [Short Form-12 (SF-12), and disease specific [Seattle angina questionnaire (SAQ)] measures. We 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% 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.
Conclusions—Although both genders recover similarly following AMI, women have poorer scores than men on all health status measures; a difference that persisted throughout the entire year after discharge.
- Received December 11, 2014.
- Revision received March 3, 2015.
- Accepted March 24, 2015.