Sex-related differences in patients' responses to heart failure therapy

Alon Barsheshet, Andrew Brenyo, Ilan Goldenberg, Arthur J. Moss*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Men and women with heart failure display important differences in clinical characteristics that might affect their responses to pharmacological and nonpharmacological therapies. In women, heart failure is associated with a higher frequency of hypertension, nonischemic cardiomyopathy and left bundle branch block than in men. Subgroup analyses of data from randomized clinical trials suggest that these differences result in a differential response to heart failure therapies, including a somewhat better response to β-blockers, a worse prognosis with digoxin therapy, and a lower survival benefit with implantable cardioverter-defibrillators in women. Importantly, female patients with heart failure also derive significantly greater improvements in cardiac volumes from cardiac resynchronization therapy than do male patients, and this treatment is associated with reduced risks of all-cause mortality and heart failure events among women with mild symptoms. These data suggest that sex-related differences might exist in response to both medical and device therapies for patients with heart failure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-242
Number of pages9
JournalNature Reviews Cardiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes


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