Objective: To determine whether a sex-related difference in outcome is present among patients who undergo percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) for unstable angina. Design: We retrospectively analyzed the results after PTCA was performed between January 1981 and June 1993 in a series of 2,073 men and 941 women with unstable angina and rest pain. Results: The success rates of PTCA were similar for women and men (87.9% and 87.2%, respectively), as were the in-hospital mortality rates (4.1% and 3.2%, respectively) and the need for emergency coronary artery bypass operation (3.1% and 3.5%, respectively). Fewer women than men had Q-wave myocardial infarction (0.5% versus 1.6%; P = 0.02). During the follow-up period (mean, 4 years), no significant differences were noted between women and men in overall survival (81% and 85% at 6 years, respectively) or survival free of Q-wave myocardial infarction (81% and 83% at 6 years, respectively) with use of the Kaplan-Meier method. Women were less likely than men to have had coronary artery bypass grafting (19% versus 22% at 6 years; P = 0.02), and the occurrence of severe angina was higher in women than in men (52% versus 44% at 6 years; P = 0.001). A subgroup analysis of patients who had myocardial infarction within 7 days preceding PTCA showed a similar pattern of results. Conclusion: After PTCA performed for unstable angina and rest pain, survival rates were excellent in both women and men, and no difference was observed in subsequent myocardial infarction rates. During follow-up, however, women were more likely to have severe angina and were less likely to have had coronary artery bypass grafting. Concerns about possible sex- related complications should not dissuade physicians from performing PTCA when clinically indicated for unstable angina and rest pain.
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