Earlier in the year there was a report on the Channel 9 News website stating there should be a “Push for better treatment of heart disease which kills one women every hour.” This article summarized the findings of a journal article titled: Gender difference in the effects of cardiovascular drugs by Tamargo and colleagues. The journal article itself highlights that due to the underrepresentation of women in clinical trials, women are often being prescribed drugs using evidence-based guidelines that were seen to be effective for middle aged men. Tamargo states that although sex-specific differences in cardiovascular medicine are well known, the exact influences of sex on the effect of cardiovascular drugs remain unclear. Women and men differ in body composition and physiology (hormonal influences during the menstrual cycle, menopause, and pregnancy) and they present differences in drug pharmacokinetics (absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion) and pharmacodynamics, so that is not rare that they may respond differently to cardiovascular drugs. Therefore a better understanding of these sex-related differences is fundamental to improve the safety and efficacy of cardiovascular drugs and for developing proper individualized cardiovascular therapeutic strategies both in men and women.
It is an interesting read and something to keep in mind when treating both men and women medicated for cardiovascular disease. It will be interesting to see how this research advances over the next few years.
Below is a link to both the brief news report as well as the abstract to the full article.