MONDAY, Feb. 7 (HealthDay News) -- A therapy to prevent heart
failure is twice as effective in women as in men, a new study
It's the first time that a heart treatment has been shown to
offer greater benefit to women, the researchers added.
The finding was "unexpected, but extremely important," study
author Dr. Arthur J. Moss, a professor of medicine at the
University of Rochester Medical Center, said in a news release.
He and his colleagues looked at the effectiveness of cardiac
resynchronization therapy with defibrillator (CRT-D) in 1,820
patients in Canada, Europe and the United States. CRT-D combines
the benefits of both an implantable cardioverter defibrillator
(ICD) and cardiac resynchronization therapy. ICDs prevent sudden,
irregular rhythm-related cardiac death, and resynchronization
therapy boosts heart function and reduces the risk of heart failure
and related symptoms.
CRT-D is approved in the United States to treat patients with
severe heart failure and those with mild heart failure to prevent
them from progressing to advanced heart failure. The CRT-D device
was developed by Boston Scientific, which was a partner in this
Among women, CRT-D led to a 70 percent reduction in heart
failure and a 72 percent reduction in death. Among men, the
treatment led to a 35 percent reduction in heart failure, according
to the report published in the Feb. 7 issue of the
Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
"It's not that men did poorly in the trial, but rather, women had really fantastic results, likely due to the type of heart disease we see more commonly in women," Moss said in the journal news release.
The women in the study were more likely to have non-ischemic
heart disease, which is usually characterized by inflammatory
scarring of the heart muscle. Men were more likely to have ischemic
heart disease, which occurs when narrowed arteries restrict the
flow of blood and oxygen to the heart.
In addition, more women had left bundle branch block, a
condition that causes disorganized electrical activity throughout
The two types of heart disease that were more common among women
are more likely to respond to CRT-D, the study authors
WomensHealth.gov has more about