Table 1

A Comparison of Gender Differences in Traditional Cardiac Risk Factors Including Differences in Varying Age Thresholds, Mean Population, Prevalence, and Outcome Differences

MenWomen
Risk factor threshold values
 Age threshold for ↑ disease risk≥45 yrs≥55 yrs
 Family history of premature CHD<55 yrs<65 yrs
 HDL cholesterol<50 mg/dl
Population average values
 Lipids
  Total cholesterol↑ For women after age ∼50 yrs
  HDL cholesterol
Prevalence rates
 Hypertension
 Smoking
Coronary disease or outcome risk
 Triglycerides
 Diabetes mellitus
 Obesity (e.g., BMI ≥30 kg/m2)
  Central obesity (>35 kg/m2)

Gaps narrow:

CHD = coronary heart disease; HDL = high-density lipoprotein.

  • in elderly

  • women lag in declining rates of smoking and noted increased prevalence of young female smokers

  • obesity increasing in the last decade such that ∼25% of women are now obese with a body mass index (BMI) ≥30 kg/m2. Additionally, women generally engage in less leisure-time physical activity and exhibit a greater functional decline in their postmenopausal years