Heartening News for Women

Women with heart failure respond better to treatment than men

(RxWiki News) Women with mild heart failure who received a cardiac resynchronization device combined with defibrillator (CRT-D) showed a 70 percent reduction in heart failure and a 72 percent reduction in overall mortality.

CRTs resynchronize the contractions of the heart’s ventricles with electrical impulses sent to the heart muscle. CRT-Ds add a defibrillator to address abnormally fast, life-threatening heart rhythms.

Men who underwent the same procedure received some benefit, but not nearly to the extent the women did.

Cardiologist Arthur Moss, M.D., professor of Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center and lead author of the study, said the event marks the first study in which a heart-failure therapy has proven more effective in women than in men.

Reduction of heart failure in women (70 percent) with the cardiac resynchronization device combined with defibrillator (CRT-D) device was twice that of the percentage of men (35 percent).

So far the device has only been approved for patients with severe heart failure. If approved, based on a recommendation from an advisory panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), an estimated 4 million more Americans with heart failure stand to benefit.

About 42 million Americans live with heart disease, the leading cause of death in women.

Wojciech Zareba, M.D., Ph.D., professor of Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center and co-author of the study., said women are offered devices less often than men when treating heart failure. She said she's hopeful the study results will change the mindset of physicians, who she hopes will more readily apply this treatment in women.

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Review Date: 
January 10, 2011