Women's health

Landmark research study looking to improve women’s health outcomes

The first ever randomised trial in cardiac surgery to recruit only women is hoping to improve women’s health and patient care.

The ROMA Women research study is investigating whether the use of multiple arteries in coronary artery bypass grafts (CABG) is better for women that using multiple veins – the practice currently followed.

The trial is taking place at the National Institute for Heath and Care Research Leicester Biomedical Research Centre.

The University of Leicester highlights that heart surgery is often more demanding for women, as they are usually older with more long-term conditions when they present for care.

This means women rarely receive multiple arterial bypass grafts even though they are thought to lead to better long-term outcomes.

“…high quality evidence to plan the best operations for women.”

The study’s lead researcher, Professor Gavin Murphy, explained: “Women are often underrepresented in cardiac surgery trials, and therefore the evidence that we use to guide treatment decisions in women is based on trials performed in men.”

Women have different patterns of coronary artery disease and are more likely to present with other conditions, added Prof Murphy.

He said: “For these reasons women are more likely to receive vein bypass grafts collected from the legs which do not last as long as arterial bypass grafts taken from the chest wall and the arm.

“This trial will show definitively which type of bypass graft results in better long-term outcomes, providing high quality evidence to plan the best operations for women.”

Judith Knox, the first patient to participate in the trial underwent heart surgery at University Hospitals of Leicester recently.

Researchers will monitor Judith over a number of years to review her health and wellbeing.

“We hope that the results of the ROMA Women trial will tell us what bypass grafts should be used in women to deliver the best long-term outcomes following CABG surgery,” concluded Prof Murphy, who is the BHF chair of cardiac surgery at the University of Leicester.

Image credit: iStock

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