Heart failure (HF) is an increasing problem in the older adult population, specifically among women. The majority of health care expenses are generated in the last few years of life, and hospitalization for HF is one of the major medical conditions influencing the expenditure. The nature of women’s HF differs from men: coronary artery disease is the most common etiologic factor for HF in men while women more often suffer from hypertensive heart disease, which results in stiffness of the left ventricle with relaxation problems, and diastolic HF. Most commonly there is a long history of poorly controlled hypertension. In acute situations these patients often present with florid edema and congestion along with significantly elevated blood pressure levels, which are both challenging to treat. This short review covers issues related to gender differences in etiology and epidemiology of HF, and evaluates current evidence for drug therapies.
Key words: epidemiology, heart failure, gender, myocardial infarction, hypertension.
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