Gender differences in cardiac rehabilitation programs from the Italian survey on cardiac rehabilitation (ISYDE-2008)

Stefania De Feo, Roberto Tramarin, Marco Ambrosetti, Carmine Riccio, Pier Luigi Temporelli, Giuseppe Favretto, Giuseppe Furgi, Raffaele Griffo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: In recent years epidemiological and clinical evidence has shown gender disparities in several aspects of cardiovascular disease. Aim of this study was to identify gender differences in the clinical profile and management of patients admitted to cardiac rehabilitation (CR) programs. Population: Patients enrolled in the ISYDE-2008 survey were considered. Results: The ISYDE-2008 survey enrolled 2281 patients; 604 (26.5%) were women. Compared to men, women were older (mean age 70.8 ± 11.5 versus men's 65.6 ± 11.5 years), had less traditional risk factors (low cardiovascular risk profile in 45.3% of women and 38.0% of men, p = 0.003), were more frequently admitted after valvular surgery and heart failure, but less for post-acute myocardial infarction and post-by-pass procedure. Women were more frequently admitted to an in-hospital rehabilitation program. Women showed a more complicated acute and rehabilitative course, with 63.2% of them having at least one complication during acute-phase, compared to 52.5% of men, and 48.3% during rehabilitation, compared to 35.0% of men (p <0.0001). During rehabilitation, women underwent exercise tests less frequently, except for the 6-minute walking test. At discharge, women received ACE-inhibitors/ARBs, β-blockers, statins, omega-3 fatty acids, antiplatelet agents less frequently, but more frequently digoxin, amiodarone, diuretics, oral anticoagulants, insulin and anti-depressive drugs. The duration of the rehabilitation program was longer for women. Mortality was very low in the entire population. Conclusions: Women are less frequently admitted to CR than men. They are older and show a greater cardiovascular burden. Women are more likely to be enrolled in CR after valvular surgery and heart failure than men.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-139
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 4 2012


  • Cardiac rehabilitation
  • Cardio-thoracic surgery
  • Pharmacological therapy
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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