Women who experience acute aortic dissection—a spontaneous and catastrophic tear in one of the body’s main arteries—not only are older and have more advanced disease than men when they seek medical care, but they also are more likely to die, according to research published online recently in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery.
Benjamin A. Youdelman, MD, from Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York, who was not directly involved in this research, explained that these variances in clinical presentation indicate that women may be waiting longer to seek medical care compared to men. This may be due to female patients being “stoic,” not considering their symptoms as signs of a significant problem, and not prioritizing their care.
Overall, female patients had increased mortality, although, in the last few years, mortality between the sexes was comparable, which suggests recent improvements in care. According to Dr. Gleason, better recognition, earlier diagnosis, faster and more efficient care delivery, new and improved surgical techniques—including brain perfusion and reconstruction procedures—and subsequent longitudinal surveillance have all contributed to more lives being saved.
Dr. Youdelman joins us today to discuss these findings, and how family medical history is a critically important factor for identifying patients at risk and saving lives.
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