Objective: To investigate whether women presenting with suspected angina would show less severe coronary artery disease in than men as determined by the extent score. Methods: We examined 994 participants of the Australian Heart Eye Study presenting for coronary angiography in the investigation of chest pain from June 2009 to February 2012. People were excluded if there was a history of coronary artery bypass surgery, previous stenting procedure or incomplete angiogram scoring. An extent and vessel score was calculated using invasive coronary angiography. Normal coronary arteries were defined as having no luminal irregularity (Extent score = 0). Obstructive coronary artery disease was defined as a luminal narrowing of greater than 50%. Results: Women compared to men without infarction had a lower burden of CAD with up to 50% having normal coronary arteries in the 30-44. year group and 40% in the 45-59. year group. Compared to men, women with chest pain had lower mean extent scores (19.6 vs 36.8; P. < 0.0001) and lower vessel scores (0.7 v 1.3; P < 0.0001). Although the mean extent score was lower in women than men with myocardial infarction, this was not statistically significant (34.8 vs 41.6 respectively; P = 0.18). Conclusion: There is a marked difference in coronary artery disease severity and burden between females and males presenting for the investigation of suspected angina. Women are more likely to have normal coronary arteries or less severe disease than age-matched men, particularly if they do not present with myocardial infarction.
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- coronary artery disease
- extent score
- coronary angiography
- chest pain