Background: In the last decades aging of population is becoming even more
prevalent, with consequent increasing requirement in health assistance and services.
Physical and social environments can affect health directly, or through barriers or incentives
conditioning opportunities, decisions and behavior. Moreover, the relationship with
environment varies according to several personal characteristics including family background,
sex and ethnicity. The impact of these factors is often skewed by these characteristics,
leading to inequalities in health. In virtually all countries, the older population is
predominantly female. The prevalence and incidence of Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD)
are reported to be lower in women than in men, increasing with age in both genders, but at
advanced ages women outnumber men. Gender-differences in the contribution of various
pathophysiological processes, combined with suboptimal recognition of female
specificities, may explain sex-differences in presentation and outcomes of CVD and also
partially explain the differences in cardiovascular drug therapy related to gender, where
other behavioral and cultural factors can be involved.
Purpose: Starting by the conflicting data in literature, the aim of this article is to summarize
the gender differences available on the use of the main cardiovascular drugs, and the
possible explanation for these disparities.
Conclusion: Up to date, data on gender differences in cardiovascular therapy are still controversial,
and overall no established factors have been identified to discriminate the different
approach in the choice of cardiovascular drugs by gender. Then further more structured
and bigger trials should be performed to target these issues, and to better clarify the
underlining involved mechanisms.