Sex Differences in Heart Failure

J Card Fail. 2021 Nov 6;S1071-9164(21)00432-2. doi: 10.1016/j.cardfail.2021.10.006. Online ahead of print.


Heart failure (HF) continues to be a major contributor of morbidity and mortality for men and women alike, yet how the predisposition for, course and management of HF differ between men and women remains underexplored. Sex differences in traditional risk factors as well as sex-specific risk factors influence the prevalence and manifestation of HF in unique ways. The pathophysiology of HF differs between men and women and may explain sex-specific differences in clinical presentation and diagnosis. This in turn contributes to variation in response to both pharmacologic and device/surgical therapy. This review examines sex-specific differences in HF spanning prevalence, risk factors, pathophysiology, presentation, and therapies with a specific focus on highlighting gaps in knowledge with calls to action for future research efforts.

Keywords: cardiovascular disease; heart failure; sex differences; women.