Investigating Gender Role in Heart Attack Outcomes
NORFOLK, Virginia (May 24, 2010) –Heart attack is the leading cause of death in men and women in the United States. What experts don’t know is why women are nearly twice as likely as men to die in the hospital following heart attacks.
The intent of the Variation In Recovery: Role of Gender on Outcomes of Young AMI Patients (VIRGO) study sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute is to evaluate the role gender may play in heart attacks and the recovery of heart attacks.
Three Virginia heart centers are enrolling participants. In Hampton Roads, Sentara Norfolk General Hospital and Sentara Leigh Hospital are enrolling eligible patients. In fact, Sentara is among the top enrolling heart centers in the country for the VIRGO study.
“We’re trying to answer some key questions about heart disease in women that have needed to be answered for years,” says cardiologist John E. Brush, M.D., the principal investigator of this study for Sentara.
Since most research data available on heart attacks comes from male patients, one of the goals of this study is to reveal patterns regarding women and heart attacks.
Deanna Wilson, a 45-year-old mother of two from Chesapeake, Va., suffered a heart attack in August 2009. She is participating in the study with hopes for the future.
“Women are dying early from heart attacks. I hope what comes from it (the trial) is that we can learn what causes heart attacks in women, so we can fix it,” says Wilson.
About the VIRGO Trial. The study is currently enrolling patients at nearly 100 sites around the U.S. In Virginia, Sentara Norfolk General Hospital and Sentara Leigh Hospital are enrolling eligible patients. Sentara is among the top enrolling heart centers in the country for this study. This trial will enroll 2,000 women and 1,000 men age 18 to 55 years old who are hospitalized with a heart attack. Participants will be followed for one year. For more information about the study and eligibility, visit www.clinicaltrials.gov
Read more about the VIRGO clinical trial.