Women-specific predictors of cardiovascular disease risk - new paradigms

Int J Cardiol. 2019 Jul 1;286:190-197. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2019.02.005. Epub 2019 Feb 15.


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in women in spite of the overall reduction in age-adjusted CVD mortality in the past few years. Although traditional risk factors for CVD are predictors of increased risk in both men and women, risk factors that are unique to women and related to their reproductive history have recently been considered to be important. The development of CVD in women may correlate with specific events taking place throughout a woman's obstetric and gynaecological history. Gynaecological conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome, premature ovarian failure, surgical and spontaneous menopause, and conditions related to pregnancy, i.e. gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction, miscarriages, and preterm birth, may affect the onset, clinical features, and prognosis of CVD later in women's lives. These pathological conditions that develop during the fertile period of life or peri-menopause have been suggested to be early markers of future CVD; their presence presents a unique opportunity for the early identification of women who may be at an increased risk of CVD. The assessment of CV risk in women should not just focus on conventional risk factors but also on different aspects of the gynaecological history to allow specific preventive and therapeutic strategies to be established. This paper reviews the various pathological conditions occurring in women during their fertile period of life and peri-menopause, which have been identified to potentially increase CVD risk.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Female
  • Genital Diseases, Female / complications*
  • Genital Diseases, Female / epidemiology
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Morbidity / trends
  • Risk Assessment / methods*
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Rate / trends
  • Women's Health*