Gender Differences in Cardiology

E-chocardiography Journal: Alphabetical List / Chronological List / Images / Home Page

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2002 Feb 20;39(4):625-31.
Prognostic value of exercise echocardiography in 5,798 patients: is there a gender difference?
Arruda-Olson AM, Juracan EM, Mahoney DW, McCully RB, Roger VL, Pellikka PA.
Division of Cardiovascular Diseases and Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA.

OBJECTIVES: This study was designed to determine the effect of gender on the prognostic value of exercise echocardiography. BACKGROUND: Limited information exists regarding gender differences in prognostic value of exercise echocardiography. METHODS: We obtained follow-up (3.2 +/- 1.7 years) in 5,798 consecutive patients who underwent exercise echocardiography for evaluation of known or suspected coronary artery disease. RESULTS: There were 3,322 men (mean age 62 +/- 12 years) and 2,476 women (mean age 62 +/- 12 years) (p = 0.7). New or worsening wall motion abnormalities developed with exercise in 35% of men and 25% of women (p = 0.001). Cardiac events, including cardiac death (107 patients) and nonfatal myocardial infarction (148 patients), occurred in 5.3% of men and 3.1% of women (p = 0.001). Addition of the percentage of ischemic segments to the clinical and rest echocardiographic model provided incremental information in predicting cardiac events for both men (chi(2) = 137 to 143, p = 0.014) and women (chi(2) = 72 to 76, p = 0.046). By multivariate analysis, exercise electrocardiographic and exercise echocardiographic predictors of cardiac events in both men and women were workload and exercise wall motion score index. There was no significant i nteraction effect of rest echocardiography (p = 0.79), exercise electrocardiography (p = 0.38) or exercise echocardiography (p = 0.67) with gender. CONCLUSIONS: Although cardiac events occurred more frequently in men, the incremental value of exercise echocardiography was comparable in both genders. Of all exercise electrocardiographic and exercise echocardiographic variables, workload and exercise wall motion score index had the strongest association with outcome. The results of exercise echocardiography have comparable implications in both men and women.

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2005 Jan 4;45(1):93-7.
Seven-year follow-up after dobutamine stress echocardiography: impact of gender on prognosis.
Biagini E, Elhendy A, Bax JJ, Rizzello V, Schinkel AF, van Domburg RT, Kertai MD, Krenning BJ, Bountioukos M, Rapezzi C, Branzi A, Simoons ML, Poldermans D.
Department of Cardiology, Thoraxcenter, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of gender on long-term prognosis of patients undergoing dobutamine stress echocardiography (DSE). BACKGROUND: Gender differences in the predictors of outcome among patients with known or sus pected coronary artery disease undergoing DSE have not been adequately studied. METHODS: We studied 2,276 men and 1,105 women with known or suspected coronary artery disease who underwent DSE. Follow-up events were cardiac death and nonfatal myocardial in farction (MI). RESULTS: Dobutamine stress echocardiography was normal in 687 men (30%) and 483 women (44%) (p <0.0001). Ischemia on DSE was present in 1,194 men (52%) and 416 women (38%) (p <0.001). During a mean follow-up of 7 +/- 3.4 years, there were 8 94 (26%) deaths (442 attributed to cardiac causes) and 145 (4%) nonfatal MIs. The annual cardiac event rate was 2.5% in men and 1.2% in women with normal DSE. Independent predictors of cardiac events in patients with normal DSE using a Cox proportional ha zards regression analysis were male gender (hazard ratio [HR]: 1.7 [range 1.1 to 2.8]), age (HR: 1.02 [range 1.01 to 1.04]), history of heart failure (HR: 3.4 [range 1.5 to 7.9]), previous MI (HR: 1.7 [range 1.1 to 2.8]), and diabetes (HR: 2.4 [range 1.3 to 4.5]). Independent predictors of cardiac events in patients with an abnormal DSE were age (HR: 1.03 [range 1.02 to 1.04]), history of heart failure (HR: 1.7 [range 1.3 to 2.1]), diabetes (HR: 1.4 [range 1.1 to 1.8]), heart rate at rest (HR: 2.8 [range 1.4 to 5.8]), wall motion abnormalities at rest (HR: 1.06 [range 1.04 to 1.09]), and ischemia on DSE (HR: 1.04 [range 1.02 to 1.07]). Myocardial ischemia was an independent predictor of cardiac events in both men and women. CONCLUSIONS: Dobutamine stress echocardiography provides independent prognostic information in both men and women. In patients with normal DSE, gender is independently associated with cardiac events. The outcome of patients with abnormal DSE is not related to gender, after adjusting fo r stress echocardiographic abnormalities.

Eur J Appl Physiol. 2004 Aug;92(4-5):592-7. Epub 2004 Mar 31.
The upper limit of physiological cardiac hypertrophy in elite male and female athletes: the British experience.
Whyte GP, George K, Sharma S, Firoozi S, Stephens N, Senior R, McKenna WJ.
CRY Centre for Sports Cardiology, Olympic Medical Institute, Northwick Park Hospital, Watford Road, Middlesex HA1 3UJ, Harrow, UK.

Establishment of upper normal limits of physiological hypertrophy in response to physical training is important in the differentiation of physiological and pathological left ventricular hypertrophy. The genetic differences that exist in the adaptive respo nse of the heart to physical training and the causes of sudden cardiac death in young athletes indicate the need for population-specific normal values. Between September 1994 and December 2001, 442 (306 male, 136 female) elite British athletes from 13 spo rts were profiled. Standard two-dimensional guided M-mode and Doppler echocardiography were employed to evaluate left ventricular morphology and function. Eleven (2.5%) athletes, competing in a range of sports including judo, skiing, cycling, triathlon, r ugby and tennis, presented with a wall thickness >13 mm, commensurate with a diagnosis of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Eighteen (5.8%) male athletes presented with a left ventricular internal diameter during diastole (LVIDd) >60 mm, with an upper limit of 65 mm. Of the 136 female athletes, none where found to have a maximum wall thickness >11 mm. Left ventricular internal diameter was <60 mm in all female athletes. Systolic and diastolic function were within normal limits for all athletes. Upper normal li mits for left ventricular wall thickness and LVIDd are 14 mm and 65 mm for elite male British athletes, and 11 mm and 60 mm for elite female British athletes. Values in excess of these should be viewed with caution and should prompt further investigation to identify the underlying mechanism.

Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2002 Feb;12(1):17-25.
Adaptation of cardiac morphology and function to endurance and strength training. A comparative study using MR imaging and echocardiography in males and females.
Wernstedt P, Sjostedt C, Ekman I, Du H, Thuomas KA, Areskog NH, Nylander E.
Department of Clinical Physiology, Linkoping University Hospital, S-581 85 Linkoping, Sweden.

Left ventricular (LV) dimensions and function and maximal oxygen uptake (VO(2)max) were measured in endurance-trained (10 male, m, 10 female, f), strength-trained athletes (8 m, 10 f) and untrained subjects (9 m, 10 f). LV dimensions were measured using m agnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and echocardiography and the results were equal irrespective of method. Endurance-trained m and f had significantly higher LV volumes and mass than both strength-trained and controls. No VO(2)max or dimensional differences were seen between strength-trained and untrained subjects. In endurance-trained males, LV volumes and mass/kg bw were higher than in endurance-trained females. There was no significant gender difference for strength-trained or untrained subjects regarding body weight-related heart dimensions. It is concluded that LV dimensions and volumes are strongly dependent on oxygen transport capacity in normal subjects practising different modes of training, and that the gender differences, if LV dimensions are rela ted to aerobic work capacity, are smaller than previously reported.

Swiss Med Wkly. 2001 Oct 20;131(41-42):610-5.
Gender differences in coronary artery size per 100 g of left ventricular mass in a population without cardiac disease.
Kucher N, Lipp E, Schwerzmann M, Zimmerli M, Allemann Y, Seiler C.
Cardiology, Swiss Cardiovascular Center, University Hospital, Bern, Switzerland.

OBJECTIVES: To determine whether there is a gender difference in coronary artery size normalised for left ventricular (LV) mass. BACKGROUND: Small coronary artery caliber may play a role as a risk factor for coronary artery disease in women. However, the existence of a gender difference in coronary artery size is controversial. Furthermore, coronary artery size ought to be normalised for LV mass, since there is a theoretical relation of coronary artery size to LV mass according to the law of minimum visco us energy loss for the transport of blood in the coronary circulation. METHODS: In 200 individuals (100 women) without cardiac disease and with normal Doppler echocardiography, left main (LCA) and right coronary artery (RCA) size were determined using tra nsoesophageal echocardiography. LV mass was assessed by transgastric M-mode echocardiography. RESULTS: Age (44 +/- 15 years in women; 41 +/- 16 years in men), the presence of non-cardiac diseases, cardiovascular risk factors and medication were similar in women and men. LV mass in women was lower than in men (148 +/- 36 g, 189 +/- 45 g; p < 0.0001). LCA and RCA cross-sectional areas in women were smaller than those in men (LCA: 10 +/- 3 and 16 +/- 5 mm2, p < 0.0001; RCA: 4 +/- 2 and 7 +/- 3 mm2, p < 0.000 1, respectively). LCA and RCA cross-sectional areas of women were smaller even after normalisation for LV mass (LCA: 7 +/- 3 and 9 +/- 3 mm2/100 g LV mass, p < 0.0001; RCA: 3 +/- 1 and 4 +/- 1 mm2/100 g LV mass, p = 0.002, respectively). LCA caliber of wo men ranged below the theoretically expected size according to the law of minimum viscous energy loss for the transport of blood in the coronary circulation, whereas those of men tended to be above it. CONCLUSIONS: In a population without cardiac disease, women have smaller coronary artery size even after normalisation for left ventricular mass.

Int J Cardiol. 1999 Sep 30;71(1):57-61.
Left ventricular geometry and function in patients with aortic stenosis: gender differences.
Kostkiewicz M, Tracz W, Olszowska M, Podolec P, Drop D.
Department of Cardiac and Vascular Diseases, Institute of Cardiology, Collegium Medicum of the Jagiellonian University, Cracow, Poland.

BACKGROUND: Gender differences in cardiac size have been described in normal and pathological conditions in human and animals. Sex determination of a pattern of hypertrophy as a response to pressure overload has not been extensively evaluated and is still poorly understood in humans. METHODS AND RESULTS: To investigate the influence of gender in the left ventricle remodelling and preservation of the left ventricle function 195 adults (140 men and 55 women) with isolated aortic stenosis were evaluated. The mean age was 52 +/- 11 years for men and 53 +/- 13 years for women. All the patients had similar degree of aortic stenosis finally treated with valve replacement, similar clinical status and no signs of coronary artery disease in coronary angiograms. On echocardiography the left ventricle of women had a smaller the end systolic (30.5 +/- 7.8 vs. 39.4 +/- 11.2, P<0.001) and the end diastolic (49.4 +/- 9 vs. 57.3 +/- 11, P<0.001) chamber size. The female left ventricle generated a higher relative wall thic kness (0.65 +/- 0.21 vs. 0.52 +/- 0.12, P<0.01), a greater fractional shortening (35.3 +/- 8.5 vs. 32.0 +/- 9.0, P<0.01) and a higher ejection fraction (64.4 +/- 12.7 vs. 57.5 +/- 14.6, P<0.001). The left ventricle posterior wall thickness and the septal thickness indexes were similar in both groups. There were also significant differences between the two groups in the left ventricle mass index. CONCLUSIONS: Gender has an important influence on the left ventricle adaptation pattern to pressure overload du e to aortic stenosis. Women developed a greater degree of left ventricle hypertrophy documented as changes in left ventricle geometry (increased relative wall thickness, left ventricular mass) and left ventricle function (fractional shortening and ejectio n fraction).

Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 1999 Jan;15(1):24-30.
Gender differences in patients with severe aortic stenosis: impact on preoperative left ventricular geometry and function, as well as early postoperative morbidity and mortality.
Bech-Hanssen O, Wallentin I, Houltz E, Beckman Suurkula M, Larsson S, Caidahl K.
Department of Clinical Physiology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden.

OBJECTIVE: In patients with severe aortic stenosis, we studied the impact of gender on preoperative left ventricular geometry and function, as well as on early postoperative mortality and morbidity. METHODS: Prospective Doppler echocardiographic evaluatio n was performed in 99 female patients and 96 males. RESULTS: The patients had severe aortic stenosis and the mean pressure gradients were similar in females and males. Left ventricular diastolic volume adjusted for body surface area (BSA) was larger in ma les, 55+/-17.4 ml/m2 versus 43+/-13.1 mL/m2 (mean+/-standard deviation; P = 0.0001). The ejection fraction was similar in females (55+/-14%) and males (55+/-13%), and patients of both sexes had significantly lower stroke volume and cardiac index than heal thy controls. The relative wall thickness (wall thickness/diastolic diameter ratio) was higher (P = 0.03) in females (0.47+/-0.10) than in males (0.43+/-0.10) Consequently, the diastolic diameter/wall thickness ratio (a substitute for wall tension) was hi gher (P = 0.02) in males (4.2+/-0.99) than in females (3.9+/-0.80). Compared with survivors, patients who died within 30 days of the operation (n = 17, 11 females) had a smaller body surface area (1.70+/-0.19 vs. 1.82+/-0.19 m2, P = 0.012), smaller left v entricular outflow tract (20.8+/-0.21 vs. 22.0+/-0.22 mm, P = 0.023), higher incidence of abnormal intraventricular flow velocity (33 vs. 8%, P = 0.018) and increased relative wall thickness (0.52+/-0.17 vs. 0.45+/-0.09 P = 0.039). Gender was of no indepe ndent importance for early mortality when age and left ventricular outflow tract diameter were accounted for. CONCLUSIONS: Cardiac adaptation to aortic stenosis seems to be influenced by gender, males presenting larger left ventricular volumes and higher wall tension. The echocardiographic findings of a narrow left ventricular outflow tract, abnormally increased intraventricular velocity and increased relative wall thickness identified patients with increased risk of early postoperative mortality. However gender had no independent impact on early postoperative outcome.

Back to E-chocardiography Home Page.
The contents and links on this page were last verified on June 9, 2005