Gender Differences in the Gut Microbiome and How These Affect Cardiovascular Diseases

  • Adriana Cabal
  • Trudy M. Wassenaar
  • David W. Ussery


The literature was reviewed to search for consistently reported differences in the gut microbiome between females and males, in an attempt to relate such changes to different risks of cardiovascular disease that exist between the genders. Although multiple publications were identified that reported gender differences in the gut microbiome, none of the described observations were consistent. Apparently, the variation in gut microbiome between populations under study, as a result of differences in geography, life style, diet, age, genetics and possible other factors is more extensive than the variation between males and females. However, we summarize a number of findings on gender differences reported for cardiovascular diseases that may have a link to the microbiome, for instance the presence of irritable bowel disease which is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, coincides with a dysbiosis of the gut microbiome, and is more common in females than males. Other microbiome-related gender differences may pose a greater risk for males, so that, overall, there is no known positive or negative generally applicable effect of a ‘female-type’ or ‘male-type’ microbiome that would have a significant effect on risk or severity of cardiovascular diseases.


Gut microbiome 16S rRNA Gender differences Irritable bowel disease 



We thank Linda J. Larson-Prior for stimulating discussions. This work was funded in part by the Arkansas Research Alliance and the Helen Adams & Arkansas Research Alliance Professor & Chair.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adriana Cabal
    • 1
  • Trudy M. Wassenaar
    • 1
    • 2
  • David W. Ussery
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Molecular Microbiology and Genomics ConsultantsZotzenheimGermany
  2. 2.Department of Biomedical InformaticsUniversity of Arkansas for Medical SciencesLittle RockUSA
  3. 3.Arkansas Center for Genomic Epidemiology and MedicineUniversity of Arkansas for Medical SciencesLittle RockUSA

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