Sex differences in cardiovascular health: does sexism influence women's health?

Am J Med Sci. 2014 Aug;348(2):153-5. doi: 10.1097/MAJ.0000000000000300.


This commentary provides a brief overview of theory and research that supports the idea that sexism may be related to the disproportionate negative cardiovascular health outcomes in women. It describes sexism as a stressor and outlines its association with a variety of health outcomes as evidence for why sex disparities should be examined within the context of pervasive inequities. To date, population-based studies have not explicitly examined the relationship between sexism and cardiovascular disease, but smaller studies have yielded fairly consistent results. It is suggested that future research should aim to examine the influence of 2 types of sexism (ie, hostile and benevolent) and that daily or within-day designs be used to assess cognitive, behavioral and physiological responses to everyday sexist experiences.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Physiological Phenomena*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Sexism*
  • Women's Health*