Is there a clinically significant gender bias in post-myocardial infarction pharmacological management in the older (>60) population of a primary care practice?
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BACKGROUND: Differences in the management of coronary artery disease between men and women have been reported in the literature. There are few studies of potential inequalities of treatment that arise from a primary care context. This study investigated the existence of such inequalities in the medical management of post myocardial infarction in older patients. METHODS: A comprehensive chart audit was conducted of 142 men and 81 women in an academic primary care practice. Variables were extracted on demographic variables, cardiovascular risk factors, medical and non-medical management of myocardial infarction. RESULTS: Women were older than men. The groups were comparable in terms of cardiac risk factors. A statistically significant difference (14.6%: 95% CI 0.048-28.7 p = 0.047) was found between men and women for the prescription of lipid lowering medications. 25.3% (p = 0.0005, CI 11.45, 39.65) more men than women had undergone angiography, and 14.4 % (p = 0.029, CI 2.2, 26.6) more men than women had undergone coronary artery bypass graft surgery. CONCLUSION: Women are less likely than men to receive lipid-lowering medication which may indicate less aggressive secondary prevention in the primary care setting.
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