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Treatment Strategies for Women With Coronary Artery Disease: Future Research Needs

Systematic Review

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Archived: This report is greater than 3 years old. Findings may be used for research purposes, but should not be considered current.

This report is from AHRQ's series on Future Research Needs Projects.


Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death among women in the United States. More than 500,000 women die of cardiovascular disease each year, exceeding the number of deaths in men and the next seven causes of death in women combined. This translates into approximately one death every minute. This report focuses on women because of the differences in clinical presentation and coronary anatomy, which affect the treatment options for coronary artery disease (CAD). Currently available guidelines and systematic reviews provide specific treatment recommendations for women only among a subset of treatment options, and overall assume that treatment options are equally effective for both sexes when gender data are not available. However, women have a worse prognosis than men for manifestations of CAD such as acute myocardial infarction (MI), and some data suggest that women and men do not respond equally to the same treatments. Further, women are more likely than men to experience bleeding complications.