Recognizing and improving health care disparities in the prevention of cardiovascular disease in women

Curr Cardiol Rep. 2010 Nov;12(6):488-96. doi: 10.1007/s11886-010-0135-4.


Innate differences in gender physiology result in unique exposures, risk, and protection that are specific to women. Recognition and appreciation of these differences results in better treatment adaptations for women and better outcomes. Disparities between genders in the treatment of major cardiovascular risk factors still exist and are mostly secondary to underestimating or misunderstanding a woman's risk. Preventive therapies are less often recommended to women. Women are more likely to be diagnosed and treated for hypertension, but are less likely to reach treatment goals. High-risk women-including diabetic women-are less likely to be on lipid-lowering agents and reach a low-density lipoprotein level less than 100 mg/dL. Diabetic women are less likely to achieve a hemoglobin A(1c) level less than 7%. Through understanding these disparities, health care providers will be better able to screen female patients and institute evidence-based therapies for the prevention of cardiovascular disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Comorbidity
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Health Status Disparities*
  • Healthcare Disparities*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Overweight / complications
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol