Current Cardiology Reports

, Volume 12, Issue 6, pp 488–496 | Cite as

Recognizing and Improving Health Care Disparities in the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in Women

  • Jennifer L. Jarvie
  • JoAnne M. FoodyEmail author


Innate differences in gender physiology result in unique exposures, risk, and protection that are specific to women. Recognition and appreciation of these differences results in better treatment adaptations for women and better outcomes. Disparities between genders in the treatment of major cardiovascular risk factors still exist and are mostly secondary to underestimating or misunderstanding a woman’s risk. Preventive therapies are less often recommended to women. Women are more likely to be diagnosed and treated for hypertension, but are less likely to reach treatment goals. High-risk women—including diabetic women—are less likely to be on lipid-lowering agents and reach a low-density lipoprotein level less than 100 mg/dL. Diabetic women are less likely to achieve a hemoglobin A1c level less than 7%. Through understanding these disparities, health care providers will be better able to screen female patients and institute evidence-based therapies for the prevention of cardiovascular disease.


Gender disparities Women Cardiovascular risk factors Prevention 

Clinical Trial Acronyms


Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities


Justification for the Use of Statins in Prevention: an Intervention Trial Evaluating Rosuvastatin


National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey


Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation.



No potential conflicts of interest relevant to this article were reported.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of MedicineUniversity of Colorado DenverAuroraUSA
  2. 2.Department of Cardiovascular MedicineBrigham & Women’s HospitalBostonUSA

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