Understanding the spectrum of cardiovascular risk in women - A primer for prevention

Priyanka Satish, Eleonora Avenatti, Jaideep Patel, Anandita Agarwala

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in women worldwide and the lifetime risk of CVD in women is similar to men. However, the pathophysiology of CVD varies between women and men necessitating a sex-specific understanding of cardiovascular (CV) risk. A belief that women have a lower CVD risk than men, and an underrepresentation in clinical research for many years has led to a paucity of evidence in the prevention and management of CVD in women. Many recent efforts have tried to bridge the gap. As a result, we now know that traditional risk factors impact CVD risk differently in women when compared with men. There are also numerous sex-specific and pregnancy related risk factors that modify the risk and can predict the future development of CVD in women. This is important as risk calculators, in general, tend to misclassify risk in young women with nontraditional CVD risk factors. To address this, guidelines have introduced the concept of risk enhancers that can suggest a higher risk. The use of coronary artery calcium score can further accurately delineate risk in these women, leading to an appropriate matching of therapy to underlying risk. This review discusses implementation strategies that are essential to mitigate disparities in CVD outcomes and optimizing CVD risk in women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalProgress in Cardiovascular Diseases
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Gender
  • Prevention
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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