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studie 23_oben

Inferior control of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in women is the primary sex difference in modifiable cardiovascular risk: A large-scale, cross-sectional study in primary care

Rachamin Y, Grischott T, Rosemann T, Meyer MR

Atherosclerosis. 2021;324:141-147


Sex differences in cardiovascular prevention have been reported, yet the role of sex with regard to different modifiable risk factors such as low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), systolic blood pressure (BP), and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) in primary care settings is unclear. Therefore, we studied sex differences in assessment and measured values of LDL-C, BP, and HbA1c in primary and secondary cardiovascular prevention delivered by general practitioners.


This cross-sectional study was based on electronic medical records of 59,092 primary care patients (51.9% women) aged 40–79 years in Switzerland. Multilevel regression was used to model associations of sex with assessment and measured values of LDL-C, BP, and HbA1c in 2018.


In both primary and secondary prevention, women had lower LDL-C assessment rates (age-adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 0.71 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.67 to 0.75] and 0.70 [CI 0.51 to 0.95]), and higher measured LDL-C values than men (age-adjusted difference 0.30 mmol/L [CI 0.25 to 0.35] and 0.28 mmol/L [CI 0.07 to 0.48]). Compared with men, women in primary prevention displayed lower BP and HbA1c assessment frequencies (aOR 0.77 [CI 0.73 to 0.81] and 0.76 [CI 0.71 to 0.80]) and measured values (age-adjusted difference -2.49 mmHg [CI -2.99 to -1.79] and -0.19% [CI -0.24 to -0.14]), while there was no sex difference in secondary prevention. Age-dependent increases in measured values of LDL-C, BP, and HbA1c were greater in women than men.


Control of LDL-C in women in primary care should be improved to reduce sex-based inequalities in prevention of cardiovascular disease.

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