cardiovascular disease, ethnicity, gender



  1. Allen, Jerilyn ScD, RN, FAAN
  2. Szanton, Sarah MSN


Although the influence of gender and ethnicity on cardiovascular disease has been understudied, cardiovascular nurse researchers have contributed significantly to the existing body of knowledge. This article distinguishes between the constructs of "gender versus sex" and "ethnicity versus race," acknowledging that the terms are often used interchangeably in research. A sampling of the substantial contributions of cardiovascular nurse researchers related to gender and ethnicity in the areas of symptoms of cardiovascular disease; risk factors and prevention; delay in seeking care, diagnosis, and treatment; recovery and outcomes; and cardiac rehabilitation is highlighted. Recommendations for future research include publishing research data by gender and ethnicity subgroups even though statistical comparisons may not be feasible, and increasing cardiovascular disease research in minority populations such as Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, Native Americans, and Hispanics. Finally, we challenge cardiovascular nurse researchers to shift from the documentation of disparities toward designing and testing of interventions to eliminate health disparities.