Disparities in heart failure and other cardiovascular diseases among women

Womens Health (Lond). 2012 Jul;8(4):473-85. doi: 10.2217/whe.12.22.


This article reviews literature pertinent to cardiovascular disparities in women, focusing primarily on heart failure (HF). It provides an in-depth look at causes, biological influences, self-management and lack of adherence to HF-treatment guidelines in women. Disparities in treatment of causative factors of HF, such as myocardial infarction and hypertension, contribute to women having poorer HF outcomes than men. This article discusses major contributing reasons for nonadherence to medication regimes for HF in women, including advanced age at time of diagnosis, likelihood of multiple comorbidities, lack of social support and low socioeconomic status. Limited inclusion of women in clinical trials and the scarcity of gender analyses for HF and other cardiovascular diseases continues to limit the applicability of research findings to women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / genetics
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / mortality
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / therapy
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Healthcare Disparities / standards*
  • Heart Failure* / epidemiology
  • Heart Failure* / genetics
  • Heart Failure* / mortality
  • Heart Failure* / therapy
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Women's Health