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Circulation. 2019 Feb 19;139(8):1025-1035. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.118.035550.

Sex Differences in the Prevalence of, and Trends in, Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Treatment, and Control in the United States, 2001 to 2016.

Author information

1
The George Institute for Global Health, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK (S.A.E.P., M.W.).
2
Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands (S.A.E.P.).
3
Department of Epidemiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham (P.M.).
4
The George Institute for Global Health, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia (M.W.).
5
Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD (M.W.).

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Improvements have been made in the treatment and control of some but not all major cardiovascular risk factors in the United States. It remains unclear whether women and men have benefited equally.

METHODS:

Data from the 2001 to 2002 through the 2015 to 2016 US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey on adults aged 20 to 79 years were used. We assessed sex differences in temporal trends in the levels of systolic blood pressure, body mass index, smoking status, high-density lipoprotein and total cholesterol, and hemoglobin A1c. Trends in treatment and control rates of hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and dyslipidemia were also assessed.

RESULTS:

Overall, 35‚ÄČ416 participants (51% women) were included. Trends in systolic blood pressure, smoking status, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and hemoglobin A1c were similar between the sexes. Body mass index increased more in women than men ( P=0.006). Mean levels were 28.1 and 29.6 kg/m2 in women and 27.9 and 29.0 kg/m2 in men in 2001 to 2004 and 2013 to 2016, respectively. Total cholesterol decreased more in men than women ( P=0.002): mean levels in 2001 to 2004 and 2013 to 2016, respectively, were 203 and 194 mg/dL in women and 201 and 188 mg/dL in men. Improvements in the control of hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and dyslipidemia were similar between the sexes; however, sex differences persisted. In 2013 to 2016, control rates in women versus men were 30% versus 22% for hypertension, 30% versus 20% for diabetes mellitus, and 51% versus 63% for dyslipidemia.

CONCLUSIONS:

Temporal trends in cardiovascular risk factor levels were broadly similar between the sexes, except for total cholesterol and body mass index. Sex differences in the control of hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and dyslipidemia persist, and further efforts are required to reduce this differential.

KEYWORDS:

cardiovascular disease; prevention; risk factors; sex differences; treatment

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