Facebook Pixel

Gender Disparity in Ablation Treatment and Outcomes for Atrial Fibrillation: Study

Rate This

New multicenter research reveals that female patients fail ablation procedures more often than male patients, according to a study published in the February edition of the HeartRhythm Journal, the official journal of the Heat Rhythm Society. The study also shows that males undergo catheter ablation for the treatment of atrial fibrillation five times as often as females and typically with significantly fewer complications.

The multicenter study, which evaluated 3,265 patients between January 2005 and May 2008, collected patient data for women who underwent pulmonary vein antrum isolation, a form of catheter ablation. The research was initiated due to the paucity of information for such procedures among women. Previous studies also have reported gender disparities in the use of certain cardiovascular technologies – such as implantable cardioverter-defibrillator implantation, coronary artery bypass graft surgery, and cardiovascular diagnostic testing.

Researchers found that female patients failed ablation procedures at a higher rate than males (31.5 percent versus 22.5 percent), and also incurred uncomfortable complications at nearly double the rate in some instances. When compared to male patients who underwent the same procedure, the research indicates females have a higher rate of non paroxysmal atrial fibrillation and extra pulmonary veins firing. In addition females had a higher incidence of bleeding complications, hematomas and pseudoaneurysms.

“Most atrial fibrillation studies have consisted predominately of male patients, and, accordingly, there is a real lack of information about the safety and efficacy of catheter ablation for females,” said Andrea Natale, M.D., FHRS, executive medical director of the Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute at St David’s Medical Center in Austin, Texas. “The work ahead is to pinpoint why female patients are more likely to delay this procedure and to work with doctors to develop a better patient dialogue and treatment strategy.”

One possibility researchers say could explain the disparity is the age at which female patients undergo invasive treatment for atrial fibrillation.

Add a CommentComments

There are no comments yet. Be the first one and get the conversation started!

Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Atrial Fibrillation

Get Email Updates

Atrial Fibrillation Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!