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Gender differences in the implementation of cardiovascular prevention measures after an acute coronary event


Objective To compare gender-related lifestyle changes and risk factor management after hospitalisation for a coronary event or revascularisation intervention in Europe.

Method The EUROASPIRE III survey was carried out in 22 European countries in 2006–2007. Consecutive patients having had a coronary event or revascularisation before the age of 80 were identified. A total of 8966 patients (25.3% women) were interviewed and underwent clinical and biochemical tests at least 6 months after hospital admission. Trends in cardiovascular risk management were assessed on the basis of the 1994–1995, 1999–2000 and 2006–2007 EUROASPIRE surveys.

Results Female survey participants were generally older and had a lower educational level than male participants (p<0.0001). The prevalences of obesity (p<0.0001), high blood pressure (BP) (p=0.001), elevated low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol (p<0.0001) and diabetes (p<0.0001) were significantly higher in women than in men, whereas current smoking (p<0.0001) was significantly more common in men. The use of antihypertensive and antidiabetic drugs (but not that of other drugs) was more common in women than in men. However, BP (p<0.0001), LDL-cholesterol (p<0.0001) and HbA1c (p<0.0001) targets were less often achieved in women than in men. Between 1994 and 2007, cholesterol control improved less in women than in men (interaction: p=0.009), whereas trends in BP control (p=0.32) and glycaemia (p=0.36) were similar for both genders.

Conclusion The EUROASPIRE III results show that despite similarities in medication exposure, women are less likely than men to achieve BP, LDL-cholesterol and HbA1c targets after a coronary event. This gap did not appear to narrow between 1994 and 2007.

  • Women health
  • gender
  • smoking
  • cholesterol
  • blood pressure
  • diabetes
  • cardiovascular prevention measures
  • coronary artery disease (cad)
  • community cardiology
  • epidemiology
  • public health

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