Sex Differences in Heart Disease

Sex Differences in Heart Disease

Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of mortality in men and women. Unfortunately, women have traditionally been excluded from clinical trials, and female animals have been used less or sex was not reported in basic research studies. Until recently, consideration of both sexes was not required in clinical and preclinical studies focusing on cardiovascular diseases. However, the number of clinical and experimental papers dealing with sex differences and heart disease significantly increases during the last years.

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This trend is obviously the result of at least two facts: the number of examples of different behavior of the male and female heart under physiological and pathological conditions is steadily increasing and there were controversial reports on the beneficial and adverse effect of hormonal replacement therapy. Detailed molecular and cellular mechanisms of these differences are still unknown but one is clear already today: sex differences are so important that they should be considered by the selection of optimum diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in clinical practice.

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