Sex differences in ischemic heart disease and heart failure biomarkers

Kimia Sobhani, Diana K. Nieves Castro, Qin Fu, Roberta A. Gottlieb, Jennifer E. Van Eyk, C. Noel Bairey Merz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Since 1984, each year, more women than men die of ischemic heart disease (IHD) and heart failure (HF), yet more men are diagnosed. Because biomarker assessment is often the first diagnostic employed in such patients, understanding biomarker differences in men vs. women may improve female morbidity and mortality rates. Some key examples of cardiac biomarker utility based on sex include contemporary use of "unisex" troponin reference intervals under-diagnosing myocardial necrosis in women; greater use of hsCRP in the setting of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) could lead to better stratification in women; and greater use of BNP with sex-specific thresholds in ACS could also lead to more timely risk stratification in women. Accurate diagnosis, appropriate risk management, and monitoring are key in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases; however, the assessment tools used must also be useful or at least assessed for utility in both sexes. In other words, going forward, we need to evaluate sex-specific reference intervals or cutoffs for laboratory tests used to assess cardiovascular disease to help close the diagnostic gap between men and women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number43
JournalBiology of Sex Differences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 17 2018


  • Biomarker
  • Cardiovascular
  • Sex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Endocrinology


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