Cardiovascular disease has long been called a “man’s disease. Women have long been underrepresented in cardiovascular clinical trials and a lack of sex-specific data has meant that we now lack evidence based guidance as to how appropriately manage and guide women with risk factors for CVD or CVD itself. This is important as specific cardiovascular diseases impact men and women differentially. For example women presenting with chest pain are more likely to be diagnosed with microvascular coronary artery disease than men presenting with chest pain and women are twice as likely to suffer from the most common heart failure sub-type; heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. Thus, the underlying pathophysiology of these diseases are currently not completely understood and we lack definitive treatment for these diseases.
Therefore the aim of this thesis is therefore to help bridge gaps in knowledge of the influence of sex upon cardiovascular disease focusing on the two most common forms of cardiovascular disease: atherosclerosis and heart failure. This thesis underscores the cardinal sex differences (and similarities) in cardiovascular disease and emphasizes the importance of taking a sex-specific approach to cardiovascular research and clinical management.