• NEWS . 11 Nov 2019
  • Sex disparities found in assessment and outcomes of chest pain presentations

  • A study has found systemic sex bias, to the detriment of women, in the early management and treatment of non-traumatic chest pain presentations in emergency departments (EDs). 

    Compared with men, women were 18% less likely to be allocated an urgency of 'immediate review' or 'within 10 min review' (odds ratio [OR], 0.82; 95% confidence limit [CI], 0.79–0.85), 16% less likely to be examined within the first hour of arrival to the ED by an emergency physician (OR, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.81–0.87), 20% less likely to have a troponin test performed (OR, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.77–0.83), 36% less likely to be admitted to a specialized care unit (OR, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.6–0.68), and 35% (p=0.039) and 36% (p=0.002) more likely to die in the ED and in the hospital, respectively.

    Researchers from La Trobe University in Australia retrospectively analysed 5 years of data triage, management and outcomes associated with non-traumatic chest pain presentations in three EDs. Overall, 54,138 patients (48.7% women) presented with chest pain, contributing to 76,216 presentations, of which 26,282 (34.5%) were cardiac.

    The researchers stated future studies are needed to help identify the drivers explaining why women presenting with chest pain are disadvantaged in terms of care, relative to men.

    Reference:
    Mnatzaganian G, et al. Sex disparities in the assessment and outcomes of chest pain presentations in emergency departments. Heart 2019 Sep 25 [Epub ahead of print].