Epidemiology of coronary heart disease in women

Prog Cardiovasc Dis. Jan-Feb 2004;46(4):287-95. doi: 10.1016/j.pcad.2003.08.001.


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of mortality in women and a major cause of morbidity. Coronary heart disease (CHD) accounts for nearly half of all CVD deaths. Gender differences in CHD include a later age of onset for women, a greater prevalence of comorbid diseases, and differences in the initial manifestations of the disease. Traditional risk factors for CHD include tobacco use, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, and atherogenic diet. More recently identified risk factors in women include high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), homocysteine, and lipoprotein (a). Appropriate management of risk factors is associated with a reduced incidence of CHD, yet poor implementation in women is widely documented. Barriers to optimal risk factor management in women should be identified and overcome in an effort to maximize the cardiovascular health of women.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age of Onset
  • Angina Pectoris / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Comorbidity
  • Coronary Disease / epidemiology*
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Heart Failure / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Women's Health