BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Gender differences in carotid endarterectomy (CEA) rates after transient ischemic attack are not well studied, although some reports suggest that eligible men are more likely to have CEA than women after stroke.
METHODS: We retrospectively identified all patients diagnosed with transient ischemic attack and >or=70% carotid stenosis on ultrasound in 2003 to 2004 from 19 emergency departments. Medical records were abstracted for clinical data; 90-day follow-up events, including stroke, cardiovascular events, or death; CEA within 6 months; and postoperative 30-day outcomes. We assessed gender as a predictor of CEA and its complications adjusting for demographic and clinical variables as well as time to CEA between groups.
RESULTS: Of 299 patients identified, 47% were women. Women were older with higher presenting systolic blood pressure and less likely to smoke or to have coronary artery disease or diabetes. Fewer women (36.4%) had CEA than men (53.8%; P=0.004). Reasons for withholding surgical treatment were similar in women and men, and there were no differences in follow-up stroke, cardiovascular event, postoperative complications, or death. Time to CEA was also significantly delayed in women.
CONCLUSIONS: Women with severe carotid stenosis and recent transient ischemic attack are less likely to undergo CEA than men, and surgeries are more delayed.
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