Study: Women and men gain equally from cardiac stent use

The idea that women benefit from cardiac stents as much as men do has remained a matter of debate for some. But a massive look at multiple studies involving thousands of female patients concludes that both genders can derive equal health gains from the treatment--particularly drug-eluting stents.

The hope is that the findings will help encourage greater stent use in female patients who need them. Certainly, stent manufacturers from Abbott ($ABT) to Medtronic ($MDT) and more could benefit from the finding if it is taken seriously. The researchers say that there may have been reluctance to use stents more in female patients, in part because data has been limited. Devicemakers typically test no more than 25% female patients in their stent trials, they note.

"The results of our new analysis should provide reassurance to both physicians and female patients that the stent devices we are using have a similar efficacy and safety profile to what we have observed in men," study co-author Usman Baber, an assistant professor of medicine in cardiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, said in a statement.

Mount Sinai Medical Center researchers presented their dramatic conclusion at the ESC Congress 2013 in Amsterdam based on a worldwide, pooled analysis of 26 randomized stent studies involving 11,557 women. According to their findings, new-model drug-eluting stents were safer in women compared to early models and bare metal stents. But multiple stent models showed genuine effectiveness within expected parameters.

Details of their findings are published in The Lancet.

- here's the journal abstract
- check out the release