Sex, Death and the Diagnosis Gap
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) continues to kill more women than men annually in the US1, a female death epidemic which emerged rapidly in 1984 and persists in 2014. This mortality shift was not accompanied by explanatory sex-specific changes in known risk factors2, and was too rapid to be due to sex-linked genetic/genomic change. While the aging epidemic combined with female longevity is a convenient putative explanation, CVD death rates have actually declined in older women concomitant with the declines in older and young men, compared to an increase in younger women2. While overall female CVD death rates began to decline in the 2000s1, we continue to have both a surplus of female s and an absence of understanding as to root causes.
- Received July 17, 2014.
- Accepted July 18, 2014.