Gender differences in hypertension: myths and reality

Curr Hypertens Rep. 2013 Aug;15(4):321-30. doi: 10.1007/s11906-013-0359-y.


Life expectancy is longer in women compared to men, and cardiovascular events occur at a lower rate and at a later age in females than males. The impact of gender on the prevalence, the presentation, and the long-term outcome of cardiovascular disease has long been a topic of active research. Gender differences have been found in several studies but opposite findings also exist. The impact of gender in hypertension and antihypertensive therapy remains poorly clarified. The prevalence, awareness, treatment, and control rates of hypertension exhibit some differences between the two sexes, which are age-dependent. The female advantage in the cardiovascular risk of hypertensive patients might be attenuated by comorbidities and target organ damage. Another aspect of major clinical importance is whether gender differences exist on the effects of antihypertensive agents in blood pressure reduction and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. The aim of this review is to critically evaluate recent data regarding gender differences in hypertension and incorporate new data into the body of existing knowledge.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Hypertension / therapy*
  • Male
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antihypertensive Agents