Impact of sex and gender on the efficacy of antiplatelet therapy: the female perspective

J Atheroscler Thromb. 2015;22(2):109-25. doi: 10.5551/jat.24935. Epub 2014 Nov 25.


Ischemic heart disease is the single leading cause of death and a significant cause of morbidity among women in industrialized countries. Current guidelines recommend antiplatelet therapy as the main cornerstone for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease. Unfortunately, evidence is emerging that the response to antiplatelet drugs differs according to sex, although the biological basis for this gender disparity is unknown. In order to explain the epidemiological data showing a more severe clinical expression of cardiovascular disease in addition to adverse outcomes despite optimal pharmacological and interventional approaches in women compared to men, differences in platelet reactivity related to sex and gender are currently under investigation. In this report, we review available data from clinical trials of antiplatelet drugs administered for primary and secondary prevention, focusing on the underenrollment of female subjects in interventional randomized studies and weak community awareness of the impact of cardiovascular disease on life expectancy in women. Based on our findings, the development of real gender-oriented evidence-based guidelines for antiplatelet use in the setting of cardiovascular disease is urgently required.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Sex Factors


  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors