Optimal Gender-Specific Strategies for the Secondary Prevention of Heart Disease in Women A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW

Angela Rao, Phillip J. Newton, Michelle DiGiacomo, Louise D. Hickman, Christine Hwang, Patricia M. Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: There is a paucity of evidence on gender-specifi c, individually tailored secondary prevention (cardiac rehabilitation [CR]) services for women with heart disease. Women participate less in CR programs, thus increasing their risk of further cardiac events. This review aims to (1) determine the effectiveness of gender-specifi c interventions specifi cally designed for women with heart disease, delivered in outpatient CR settings; and (2) classify key elements of effective CR strategies/models for women with heart disease. Methods: Using the PRISMA guidelines, this is a systematic review of CR models tailored to women to improve cardiovascular risk. Four databases were searched for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) between January 1974 and July 2017 published in peer-reviewed English language journals. Results: Three RCTs comprising 725 women of gender-specific CR strategies were identifi ed. Signifi cant improvements were found in one-third (1 study) of the included multicomponent CR strategies for outcomes including general health, social functioning, vitality, mental health, depression, and quality of life. Conclusion: Further large-scale RCTs are required to replicate positive fi ndings and accurately assess the capacity for gender-specifi c multicomponent CR programs that incorporate participant-driven collaborative models to moderate psychological risk and improve functional capacity and quality of life for women with heart disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-285
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of cardiopulmonary rehabilitation and prevention
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018


  • Cardiac rehabilitation
  • cardiovascular disease
  • hypertension
  • preventive medicine
  • secondary prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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