Ischemic heart disease and primary care: identifying gender-related differences. An observational study
Background: Gender-related differences are seen in multiple aspects of both health and illness. Ischemic heart disease (IHD) is a pathology in which diagnostic, treatment and prognostic differences are seen between sexes, especially in the acute phase and in the hospital setting. The objective of the present study is to analyze whether there are differences between men and women when examining associated cardiovascular risk factors and secondary pharmacological prevention in the primary care setting. Methods: Retrospective descriptive observational study from January to December of 2006, including 1907 patients diagnosed with ischemic heart disease in the city of Lleida, Spain. The clinical data were obtained from computerized medical records and pharmaceutical records of medications dispensed in pharmacies with official prescriptions. Data was analyzed using bivariate descriptive statistical analysis as well as logistic regression. Results: There were no gender-related differences in screening percentages for arterial hypertension, diabetes, obesity, dyslipemia, and smoking. A greater percentage of women were hypertensive, obese and diabetic compared to men. However, men showed a tendency to achieve control targets more easily than women, with no statistically significant differences. In both sexes cardiovascular risk factors control was inadequate, between 10 and 50%. For secondary pharmaceutical prevention, the percentages of prescriptions were greater in men for anticoagulants, beta-blockers, lipid-lowering agents and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin II receptor blockers, with age group variations up to 10%. When adjusting by age and specific diagnoses, differences were maintained for anticoagulants and lipid-lowering agents. Conclusion: Screening of cardiovascular risk factors was similar in men and women with IHD. Although a greater percentage of women were hypertensive, diabetic or obese, their management of risk factors tended to be worse than men. Overall, a poor control of cardiovascular risk factors was noted. Taken as a whole, more men were prescribed secondary prevention drugs, with differences varying by age group and IHD diagnosis.
Journal or Serie
BMC Family Practice, 2008, vol. 9, núm. 60, p. 1-9