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Healthc Policy 6:88-103.
Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada
Many investigators have reported higher rates of cardiac procedures for males than females after acute myocardial infarction (AMI), suggesting that men are treated more aggressively than women. However, others have reported no significant differences after controlling for age, resulting in uncertainty about the existence of a true gender bias in cardiac care. In this study, a population-based cohort approach was used to calculate age-specific procedure rates by sex from administrative data. Chi-square tests and generalized linear modelling were used to assess gender differences and interactions. For all four procedures studied, rates were significantly higher for males than females (p<0.01). However, age-specific rates revealed few significant differences by gender and a sharp decrease in intervention rates with age for both males and females. Generalized linear modelling confirmed that patient age was a significant predictor of intervention rates, whereas sex was not. The significant gender difference in overall rates was completely confounded by the older age profile of female AMI patients compared to their male counterparts.
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