Young Women With Acute Myocardial Infarction and the Post-Hospital Syndrome
Our awareness and understanding of ischemic heart disease (IHD) in women has evolved substantially over the past two to three decades. The myth that heart attacks are "male diseases" was clearly dispelled and we know now that cardiovascular diseases (CVD), including heart disease and stroke, are common and represent the number one killer of women in the United States and worldwide.1,2 In the Framingham Heart Study it was estimated that among women free of CVD at 50 years of age lifetime risk for developing CVD was 39.2%.3 We have learned that clinically manifest IHD usually develops a decade later in women than in men, although younger women are surely not immune from heart disease and more than 30,000 women younger than 55 years of age are hospitalized with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) every year in the United States.4 Women with heart disease have been shown to have a higher burden of cardiovascular (CV) risk factors and of other comorbidities. While the classical CV risk factors are similar in women and men, their relative contribution to CV risk differs by gender and women with CVD have often a clustering of risk factors such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, physical inactivity and dyslipidemia.
- Received May 8, 2015.
- Accepted June 12, 2015.