Sex-Specific Considerations in Drug and Device Therapy of Cardiac Arrhythmias: JACC Focus Seminar 6/7

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2022 Apr 19;79(15):1519-1529. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2021.11.066.


Sex and gender are important factors influencing the epidemiology and outcomes of cardiovascular care in various cardiac arrhythmias. Observed sex-related differences are influenced by the effects of both biologically determined sex and culturally defined gender. Under-representation of women in clinical trials and incomplete understanding of the mechanisms behind sex differences have led to inadequate evidence to guide effective sex-specific treatment. This lack of information has contributed to disparities in clinical care. In this review, we examine the effect of sex and gender on the clinical presentation and outcomes with drug and device therapy in various arrhythmias, while acknowledging the paucity of data on the effect of gender. We evaluate the implications of sex on the clinical management of arrhythmias covered by guideline documents, highlight recent data that warrant consideration for additional sex-specific recommendations, and illustrate knowledge gaps that require further study.

Keywords: ablation; antiarrhythmic drugs; cardiac arrhythmias; disparities; sex differences; sudden cardiac death.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac* / epidemiology
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac* / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sex Characteristics*