Management of congestive heart failure: a gender gap may still exist. Observations from a contemporary cohort

BMC Cardiovasc Disord. 2003 Feb 5;3:1. doi: 10.1186/1471-2261-3-1.


Background: Unlike other cardiovascular diseases the incidence and prevalence of congestive heart failure (CHF) continues to increase. While gender differences in coronary artery disease have been well described, to date, there has been a relative paucity of similar data in patients with CHF. We conducted a pilot study to evaluate the profile and management of patients with CHF at a tertiary care centre to determine if a gender difference exists.

Methods: A chart review was performed at a tertiary care centre on consecutive patients admitted with a primary diagnosis of CHF between June 1997 and 1998. Co-morbidity, diagnostic investigations, and management of CHF were recorded. Comparisons between male and female patients were conducted.

Results: One hundred and forty five patients were reviewed. There were 80 male (M) and 65 female (F) patients of similar age [71.6 vs. 71.3 (M vs. F), p = NS]. Male patients were more likely to have had a previous myocardial infarction (66% vs. 35%, p < 0.01) and revascularization (41% vs. 20%, p < 0.05), and had worse left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) than women, [median LVEF 3 vs. 2 (M vs. F), p < 0.01]. Male patients were more likely to have a non-invasive assessment of left ventricular (LV) function [85% vs. 69%, (M vs. F), p < 0.05]. A logistic regression analysis suggests that amongst those without coronary disease, males were more likely to receive non-invasive testing. There were no differences in the use of prescribed medications, in this cohort.

Conclusions: This pilot study demonstrated that there seem to be important gender differences in the profile and management of patients with CHF. Importantly women were less likely to have an evaluation of LV function. As assessment of LV function has significant implications on patient management, this data justifies the need for larger studies to assess gender differences in CHF profile and treatment.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Canada
  • Cohort Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Coronary Artery Disease / diagnosis
  • Coronary Artery Disease / epidemiology
  • Coronary Artery Disease / therapy
  • Delivery of Health Care*
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / diagnosis
  • Heart Failure / epidemiology
  • Heart Failure / therapy*
  • Heart Function Tests
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical Records
  • Middle Aged
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sex Factors
  • Ventricular Function, Left