Sex Differences in Veterans' Cardiovascular Health.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Background: In the U.S. civilian population, sex differences have been identified in cardiovascular health; these differences have been used to inform care. Our objective is to determine if the same sex differences are present in Veterans who use the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Health Care System given the additional stressors associated with military service. Materials and Methods: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors and conditions among women and men Veterans using VA in fiscal year (FY) 2014 were identified through the presence of International Classification of Disease, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) codes in VA administrative records. ICD-9-CM codes were grouped into conditions; prevalence was examined by gender overall, by age, and by race/ethnicity. Results: Within the FY 2014 cohort of VA Veteran patients included in this analysis, 7.1% (n = 412,901) were women and 92.9% were men (n = 5,376,749). Compared with men, women in this cohort were younger and more ethnically diverse. Overall, women were less likely to have traditional CVD risk factors, but more likely to have a nontraditional CVD risk factor (depression) compared with men. Women had higher odds of chest pain/angina (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 1.03, confidence interval [95% CI] 1.02-1.05), palpitations (AOR 2.04; 95% CI 1.98-2.10), and valvular disease (AOR 1.05; 95% CI 1.02-1.08), but lower odds of coronary artery disease (AOR 0.29; 95% CI 0.29-0.30), acute MI (AOR 0.46; 95% CI 0.43-0.49), and heart failure (AOR 0.55; 95% CI 0.53-0.56) compared with men, overall. Conclusions: In age-adjusted comparisons, sex differences in the prevalence of CVD risk factors and conditions among the VA Veteran patient population was similar in that seen in the civilian population with a few exceptions.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Whitehead, AM; Maher, NH; Goldstein, K; Bean-Mayberry, B; Duvernoy, C; Davis, M; Safdar, B; Saechao, F; Lee, J; Frayne, SM; Haskell, SG

Published Date

  • October 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 28 / 10

Start / End Page

  • 1418 - 1427

PubMed ID

  • 30839237

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1931-843X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1089/jwh.2018.7228


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States