Sex differences in cardiomyopathies

Eur J Heart Fail. 2014 Mar;16(3):238-47. doi: 10.1002/ejhf.15. Epub 2014 Jan 16.


Cardiomyopathies are a heterogeneous group of heart muscle diseases with a variety of specific phenotypes. According to the contemporary European Society of Cardiology classification, they are classified into hypertrophic (HCM), dilated (DCM), arrhythmogenic right ventricular (ARVC), restrictive (RCM), and unclassified cardiomyopathies. Each class is aetiologically further categorized into inherited (familial) and non-inherited (non-familial) forms. There is substantial evidence that biological sex is a strong modulator of the clinical manifestation of these cardiomyopathies, and sex-specific characteristics are detectable in all classes. For the clinician, it is important to know the sex-specific aspects of clinical disease expression and the potential modes of inheritance or the hereditary influences underlying the development of cardiomyopathies, since these may aid in diagnosing such diseases in both sexes.

Keywords: Cardiomyopathies; Sex; Sex difference.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiomyopathies / genetics*
  • Cardiomyopathies / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Sex Factors