Site Home   Gender and Cardiovascular Disease       Introduction to Gender and Health   The Gender Lens Tool

Anatomical Differences

As described by Rossi [1] the female arterial and luminal cross sectional areas are smaller than the male. In patients without atherosclerosis researchers have used intravascular ultrasound to inspect the left main (LM) and proximal left anterior descending (LAD) coronary artery segment and have found that female patients have smaller LM and LAD arterial and luminal area than men. Further multivaraite analysis done by Sheifer [2] established that sex (in spite of body size) is an independent accurate predictor of LA and LAD arterial areas.

This distinguished difference in coronary size may be a significant factor in the different outcomes of myocardial infarction and coronary revascularisation between men and women.


1. Rossi, M., Merlini, P., Ardissino, D. (2001) Percutaneous Coronary Revascularisation in Women. Thrombosis Research, 103: S105-111.

2. Sheifer, S.E., Canos, M.R., Wienfurt, K.P., Arora, U., Mendelson, F., Gersh, B., Weissman, N., (2000) Sex Differences in Coronary Artery Size Assessed by Intravascular Ultrasound. Am Heart J. 139: 649-53.

All references for this section