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Review Article

Sex Differences in Therapies for Heart Failure

[ Vol. 28 , Issue. 16 ]


Davor Miličić*, Maria Bergami and Saša Pavasović   Pages 1295 - 1303 ( 9 )


Heart failure (HF) is a common cause of morbimortality with different etiopathogenesis and prognosis between men and women. This review provides a brief overview of gender-based differences in response to pharmacological therapies of heart failure with or without reduced ejection fraction (EF). It focuses on the differences in therapy outcomes with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEi), angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), angiotensin neprilysin inhibitors (ARNI), beta-adrenergic blockers, mineralocorticoid/ aldosterone receptor antagonists, diuretics, ivabradine and digoxin. The baseline data originate from randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and large registries. We conclude that current guidelines recommending similar therapeutic approaches for both men and women are appropriate, while additional consideration should be given to different approaches regarding the use of ARBs, ACEi, and digoxin. Based on the available data, the ARBs might be considered a first-line therapy of HR for women instead of ACEi. Moreover, female patients should have stricter digoxin monitoring due to higher sensitivity and increased risk of complications. Finally, women are underrepresented in current clinical trials, and therefore future trials should aim to balance the gender recruitment disparity allowing sub-group analysis and comparisons between genders to guide individualised therapeutic strategies and appropriately targeted preventative steps.


Heart failure, sex differences, HFpEF, digoxin, women, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, randomized controlled trial.


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