Identification of women's coronary heart disease and risk factors prior to first myocardial infarction

Barbara P. Yawn, Peter C. Wollan, Steven J. Jacobsen, George E. Fryer, Veronique L. Roger

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Purpose: To understand when women's coronary heart disease (CHD) and CHD risk factors are recognized prior to first myocardial infarction (MI). Methods: Medical record review of the 10 years prior to incident MI among women with a confirmed incident MI between January 1, 1996, and December 31, 2001, to determine the timing of CHD diagnosis as well as assessment and treatment for risk factors. Results: One hundred fifty women had incident MIs during the study period. They made 8732 ambulatory visits and had 457 hospitalizations during the period of review (mean 9.1 years, range 6.2-10 years). Average age at incident MI was 74.7 years (SD 12.6, range 38.9-99.8 years). A CHD diagnosis prior to first MI was present in 52% (n = 78) of the women but was less common in those <70 years (p = 0.001). All but 3 women had one or more modifiable risk factors identified prior to their first MI. Treatment of recognized risk factors varied from 81% (antihypertension medications) to only 28% (drug therapy for abnormal lipid levels). Having a diagnosis of CHD was associated with an increased likelihood of having identified risk factors and receiving drug treatment for identified risk factors. Conclusions: Women with undiagnosed CHD (48%) and those with unrecognized or untreated risk factors for CHD, especially younger women, represent missed opportunities for prevention of cardiac events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1087-1100
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Issue number10
StatePublished - Dec 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Identification of women's coronary heart disease and risk factors prior to first myocardial infarction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this