Role of Duke treadmill score in the diagnosis of ischemic heart disease in women

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Ischemic heart disease is underdiagnosed in women due to atypical symptomatology as well as to the lower specificity of several paraclinical tests, such as exercise stress testing. The aim of the study was to ascertain whether the Duke treadmill score (DTS) could be an efficient parameter in the diagnosis of ischemic heart disease in women.

Material and method. 105 patients were enrolled in the study, 45.71% women with average age ranged between 20 and 70 years, investigated in the Rehabilitation Hospital, Cardiology-Departament, Cluj-Napoca, Romania. All the patients were clinically assessed as concerns the presence of cardiovascular risk factors, and they underwent electrocardiographic, echocardiographic and treadmill stress tests. DST was calculated according to the formula: exercise time – 5 x (ST deviation expressed in mm–4 x Angina Index).

Results. DTS was lower in women as compared to men: 2.54±5.36 vs. 6±4.69, p=0.0006. 54.28% of the patients were ranged with a low DTS risk category, whereas 45.71% belonged to a moderate and high risk category. DTS was significantly lower in women than in men with high blood pressure (2.03±4.8 vs. 5.8±4.28), hypercholesterolemia (1.14±4.51 vs. 6.24±4.13), diabetes mellitus (1.83 ± 3.73 vs. 6.13±4.8), and obesity (2.42±5.35 vs. 5.81±4.64). By analyzing the presence of cardiovascular risk factors only in women, we noticed that only those with high blood pressure (2.03±4.89 vs. 8.13 ±7.85) and hypercholesterolemia (2.31±4.76 vs. 3.89±5.95) had a statistically significant low DTS (p<0.05). In conclusion, our research, which showed differences in DTS between women and men, raises concerns about the early diagnosis of ischemic heart disease in women.

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