Differences based on patient gender in the management of hypertension: a multilevel analysis

J Hum Hypertens. 2021 Jan 27. doi: 10.1038/s41371-020-00450-y. Online ahead of print.


The objective of our study was to investigate differences in the management of men and women treated for hypertension while considering the gender of their physicians. We used the data from the cross-sectional Paris Prevention in General Practice survey, where 59 randomly recruited general practitioners (42 men and 19 women) from the Paris metropolitan area enroled every patient aged 25-79 years taking antihypertensive medication and seen during a 2-week period (520 men and 666 women) in 2005-6. The presence in the medical files of six items recommended for hypertension management (blood pressure measurement, smoking status, cholesterol, creatinine, fasting blood glucose and electrocardiogram) was analysed with mixed models with random intercepts and adjusted for patient and physician characteristics. We found that the presence of all items was lower in the records of female than male patients (3.9 vs. 6.9%, p = 0.01), as was the percentage of items present (58.5 vs. 64.2%, p = 0.003). The latter gender difference was substantially more marked when the physician was a man (69.3 vs. 63.4%, p = 0.0002) rather than a woman (63.5 vs. 61.0%, p = 0.46). Although all guidelines recommend the same management for both genders, the practices of male physicians in hypertension management appear to differ according to patient gender although those of women doctors do not. Male physicians must be made aware of how their gender influences their practices.