Sex differences in the effectiveness of angiotensin receptor blockers and angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors in patients with congestive heart failure--a population study

Eur J Heart Fail. Jun-Jul 2007;9(6-7):602-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ejheart.2007.02.001. Epub 2007 Mar 26.


Background: Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) have been shown to improve survival in patients with congestive heart failure (CHF). We wish to determine whether there are sex-related differences in the optimal treatment of congestive heart failure.

Methods: Using administrative databases, all patients >>=65 years of age discharged with a diagnosis of CHF between January 1998 and March 2003 and who filled a prescription for an ARB or an ACE inhibitor within 90 days of discharge were identified. Time to all-cause death in women and men on ACE inhibitors or ARBs was compared.

Results: There were 10,223 women (8627 ACE inhibitors and 1596 ARBs) and 9475 men (8484 ACE inhibitors and 991 ARBs). Hypertension was more common in women (50.1%) than men (33.1%). Women on ARBs had better survival than those on ACE inhibitors (adjusted hazard ratio (HR) 0.69, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.59, 0.80). There was no difference in survival in men prescribed ARBs compared to ACE inhibitors (HR 1.10, 95% CI 0.95, 1.30).

Conclusion: These sex differences in treatment-related outcome are important but should be confirmed in a randomized trial before ARBs are preferentially prescribed to women with CHF.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Angiotensin II Type 1 Receptor Blockers / adverse effects
  • Angiotensin II Type 1 Receptor Blockers / therapeutic use*
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / drug therapy*
  • Heart Failure / mortality
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Quebec
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Characteristics*
  • Survival Analysis
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Angiotensin II Type 1 Receptor Blockers
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors