Sex Differences in the Use of Cardiovascular Drugs: A Survey of Patients in a Single Center

Dragana Drakul, Dragana Sokolović, Milica Radanović, Nikolina Dukić, Milica Kunarac, Branislava Ćurčić, Dragana Pavlović, Radmil Marić


Objective. Patients and medical professionals have a common misconception that cardiovascular diseases (CVD) predominantly affect men, which can lead to less prescribing of cardiovascular drugs to women. This study examined whether there were sex differences in the administration of cardiovascular (CV) drugs in patients admitted to the intensive care unit of the Internal Medicine Clinic of Foča University Hospital (ICFUH).

Materials and Methods. The study comprised 332 patients hospitalized at the ICFUH from January 1st to June 30th, 2019. The following data on leading CVD and risks related to CV drug administration were collected: age, hyperlipidemia (HLD), diabetes mellitus (DM), chronic kidney disease (CKD), liver disease (LD), heart failure (HF), hypertension (HTN), myocardial infarction (MI), and stroke (S). The amount of the CV drugs of interest (statins, antiplatelet drugs, calcium channel blockers, ACE inhibitors, beta blockers, diuretics) administered during hospitalization was expressed as the Defined Daily Dose (DDD)/100 bed-days (BD) for patients of both sexes separately.

Results. During hospitalization in the intensive care unit of ICFUH, female patients were less likely to be treated with statins than male patients (30.1 vs. 57.5 DDD/100 BD, P<0.05). There was no difference between sexes regarding the use of antihypertensive drugs. Women were less likely to be treated by antiplatelet therapy, more precisely by acetylsalicylic acid (30.4 vs. 36.9 DDD/100 BD, P<0.05).

Conclusion. Our study indicates that there were sex differences in CV drug administration in ICFUH. Presuming that drugs used during hospitalization were at least partially a continuation of the previous therapy prescribed by the family doctor, it is possible that such differences exist in primary care.


Sex Differences; Cardiovascular Diseases; Cardiovascular Drugs; Statins

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