gender, heart failure, preserved left ventricular function



  1. Galvao, Marie MSN, ANP-C
  2. On behalf of the ADHERE Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC), Investigators, Coordinators, and Study Group


Heart failure studies have suggested important differences between women and men both in heart failure etiology and in survival. Clinical trials and long-standing perceptions of the typical heart failure patient have related far more to men than to women, while more women than men in the United States may be hospitalized with heart failure. The goal of this study was to analyze ADHERE Registry data, the largest database of acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF) patient hospitalizations available, to gain insight into the effect of gender on medical history, clinical characteristics, and discharge counseling. This preliminary study analyzed the 85,617 ADHF hospitalizations in the ADHERE Registry as of October 2003, with 44,340 (52%) women and 41,276 (48%) men included. Women were significantly older (mean age 74.6 +/- 13.7 years) than men (mean age 70.2 +/- 13.9 years, P < .0001). Women were more likely to have a history of hypertension (75% vs. 69%, P < .0001) and a systolic blood pressure >140 mm Hg (56% vs. 44%, P < .0001). History of coronary artery disease was more common in men (64% vs. 51%, P < .0001). Other risk factors for atherosclerosis, including smoking (17% vs. 10%, P < .0001) and hyperlipidemia (37% vs. 32%, P < .0001), were also more common in men. Men had a significantly lower mean left ventricular ejection fraction (32.9%, N = 30,831) than women (42.1%, N = 29,744); 51% of women had preserved left ventricular function (EF > 40%) compared to only 28% of men (P < 0.0001). At discharge, adherence to 3 of the 4 JCAHO standardized measures of quality of care for heart failure patients were documented more frequently for men than for women. A significantly smaller proportion of women received discharge instructions on management of diet, weight, and medications (30.1% vs. 32.8%); received or were scheduled for assessment of left ventricular function (81.5% vs. 85.6%); or were discharged with an angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor prescription if appropriate (72.6% vs. 73.9%). Real-world data from the ADHERE Registry may lead to better recognition of the signs and symptoms of heart failure in women, increase the proportion of women who are correctly diagnosed, and may help to support gender-specific considerations in heart failure guidelines.