DALLAS (AP) -- Women under age 50 are three times more likely than men to die after undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery, new research suggests.
A study led by Dr. Viola Vaccarino of Emory University in Atlanta examined 57,187 patients, 30 percent of them women, who had bypass surgery at 23 medical centers across the country between October 1993 and December 1999.
Among patients ages 50-59, 2.6 percent of women died, compared with 1.1 percent of men. Among patients 80 and older, 9 percent of women died compared with 8.3 percent of men.
The study found that the difference decreases with advancing age.
"It's a puzzling result," Vaccarino said. "We're not able to explain the difference based on our data. It could be a factor we didn't know about or test for."
Overall, 5.3 percent of the women died in the hospital, compared with 2.9 percent of the men. Of the women younger than 50, 3.4 percent died, compared with 1.1 percent of men.
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