Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Symptoms and care of irregular heartbeats differ by sex

Date:
March 11, 2013
Source:
Duke University Medical Center
Summary:
Women with atrial fibrilation have more symptoms and lower quality of life than men with the same heart condition, according to an analysis of patients in a large national registry.

Women with atrial fibrillation have more symptoms and lower quality of life than men with the same heart condition, according to an analysis of patients in a large national registry compiled by the Duke Clinical Research Institute.

The finding adds to a growing body of research that highlights male-female disparities in how cardiovascular disease is managed, and serves as a caution to doctors to be alert to treatment decisions that might perpetuate the differences.

"We need to pay close attention to women with atrial fibrillation, and it's important for physicians to know that women with the condition have more symptoms and a lower quality of life than their male counterparts," said Jonathan P. Piccini, M.D., MHSc, an assistant professor of medicine and electrophysiology at Duke. Piccini presented the data March 10, 2013, during the American College of Cardiology's 62nd Annual Scientific Sessions & Expo.

Atrial fibrillation is the most common form of abnormal heart rhythm, affecting more than 2 million people in the United States. Symptoms include heart palpitations, shortness of breath and fatigue. The condition is associated with an increased risk of stroke and reduced survival.

Piccini and colleagues at Duke analyzed outcomes data from more than 10,000 patients with atrial fibrillation enrolled in a long-term, observational study called the Outcomes Registry for Better Informed Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation, or ORBIT-AF.

The study was launched in 2010 to help healthcare providers understand how atrial fibrillation is managed and to better understand long-term outcomes among patients in "real-world" situations. The registry is tool to evaluate long-term health outcomes, quality of life, and the impact of existing and emerging treatments.

The current analysis involved 10,132 people with atrial fibrillation from 176 clinics and practices across the country. About 42 percent of study participants were women.

Both men and women took blood thinners at about the same rate, but beyond that, several disparities emerged. Compared to men, women in the study:

  • Tended to be older;
  • Generally had lower rates of coronary artery disease and sleep apnea, as well as a less severe form of atrial fibrillation that occurs periodically;
  • Had higher risk for stroke;
  • Reported lower quality of life on a survey that measures symptoms, daily activities and treatment concerns in patients with atrial fibrillation;
  • Had less optimal control of their anticoagulation.

"If you look at many disease processes, the experience and outcomes of men and women are different," Piccini said. "Although women live longer than men in general, in many cardiovascular diseases, women have more functional limitations. Why this occurs is the $64,000 question."

Despite having more symptoms and worse quality of life, women with atrial fibrillation tended to live longer than their male peers. Piccini said additional studies could help pinpoint the causes of the disparities.

In addition to Piccini, study authors include Sunghee Kim, Benjamin A. Steinberg, DaJuanicia N Holmes, Jack Ansell, Gregg C Fonarow, Bernard J Gersh, Alan S. Go, Elain Hylek, Peter R Kowey, Kenneth W. Mahaffey, Laine Thomas, Paul Chang and Eric D Peterson.

Janssen Scientific Affairs, LLC, provided funding for the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Duke University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Duke University Medical Center. "Symptoms and care of irregular heartbeats differ by sex." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130311124155.htm>.
Duke University Medical Center. (2013, March 11). Symptoms and care of irregular heartbeats differ by sex. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130311124155.htm
Duke University Medical Center. "Symptoms and care of irregular heartbeats differ by sex." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130311124155.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 18, 2014) Researchers at The National University of Singapore have invented a new microneedle patch that could offer a faster and less painful delivery of drugs such as insulin and painkillers. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) The first nurse to be diagnosed with Ebola at a Dallas hospital walked down the stairs of an executive jet into an ambulance at an airport in Frederick, Maryland, on Thursday. Pham will be treated at the National Institutes of Health. (Oct. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) A Caribbean cruise ship carrying a Dallas health care worker who is being monitored for signs of the Ebola virus is heading back to Texas, US, after being refused permission to dock in Cozumel, Mexico. (Oct. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

AFP (Oct. 17, 2014) All four suspected Ebola cases admitted to hospitals in Spain on Thursday have tested negative for the deadly virus in a first round of tests, the government said Friday. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins