Gender differences in cardiovascular risk assessment in elderly adults in Ecuador: Evidence from a national survey

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The present study aimed to predict the risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) over a 5-year period and how it might vary by sex in an ethnically diverse population of older adults. We used a novel CVD risk model built and validated in older adults named the Systematic Coronary Risk Evaluation in Older Persons (SCORE OP). A population-based study analyzed a total of 1307 older adults. Analyses were done by various risk categories and sex. Of the study population, 54% were female with a mean age of 75±7.1 years. According to the SCORE OP model, individuals were classified as having low (9.8%), moderate (48.1%), and high or very high risk (42.1%) of CVD-related mortality. Individuals at higher risk of CVD were more likely to be male compared with females, 53.9% vs 31.8%, respectively (p<0.01). Males were more likely to be younger, living in rural areas, had higher levels of schooling, and with the exception of smoking status and serum triglycerides, had lower values of traditional risk factors than females. In addition, males were less likely to require blood pressure-lowering therapy and statin drugs than females. This gender inequality could be driven by sociocultural determinants and a risk factor paradox in which lower levels of the cardiovascular risk factors are associated with an increase rather than a reduction in mortality. These data can be used to tailor primary prevention strategies such as lifestyle counseling and therapeutic measures in order to improve male elderly health, especially in low-resource settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)736-742
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Investigative Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2019


  • cardiovascular diseases
  • primary healthcare


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