Gender differences in risk factors for coronary heart disease

Tan, Yen Y., Gast, Gerrie-Cor M. and van der Schouw, Yvonne T. (2010) Gender differences in risk factors for coronary heart disease. Maturitas, 65 2: 149-160. doi:10.1016/j.maturitas.2009.09.023

Author Tan, Yen Y.
Gast, Gerrie-Cor M.
van der Schouw, Yvonne T.
Title Gender differences in risk factors for coronary heart disease
Journal name Maturitas   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0378-5122
Publication date 2010-02
Year available 2009
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1016/j.maturitas.2009.09.023
Volume 65
Issue 2
Start page 149
End page 160
Total pages 12
Place of publication Shannon, Co. Clare, Ireland
Publisher Elsevier Ireland
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Coronary heart disease (CHD), traditionally considered a male disease, is also a major threat to women. This review article addresses independent risk factors for CHD that are specific for women as well as non-gender-specific risk factors and how their effects differ between men and women.

Although polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in women is associated with an adverse metabolic risk profile, current evidence regarding future risk of CHD is conflicting. Preeclampsia is consistently associated with higher risk of CHD later in life. Menopause is associated with an increased risk of CHD, and the earlier the onset of menopause, the larger the risk. Existing data on postmenopausal hormone therapy (HT) was inconclusive with regard to possible protection when HT is initiated close to menopause in young peri- or postmenopausal women. Evidence on use of low-dose oral contraceptives strongly suggests no increased risk of CHD.

Although levels of physical inactivity are similar for men and women, the higher prevalences of hypertension, diabetes, and obesity in older women portends a greater risk in women than in men. Additionally, risk factors like smoking, hypertriglyceridemia and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels have greater impact in women than in men.

This review indicates that acknowledgement of non-gender-specific risk factors in addition to those that are unique to women would help optimize diagnosis, treatment and earlier prevention of CHD in women. Further research is needed to ascertain if incorporating these gender-specific risks into a clinically used risk stratification model would change outcome in women.
Keyword Gender
Risk factors
Coronary heart disease
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ
Additional Notes Available online 7 November 2009

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: ERA 2012 Admin Only
School of Public Health Publications
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Created: Thu, 12 Jan 2012, 14:07:03 EST by Gerrie-Cor Herber-Gast on behalf of School of Public Health