Under-representation of elderly and women in clinical trials

Cristiana Vitale, Massimo Fini, Ilaria Spoletini, Mitja Lainscak, Petar M. Seferovic, Giuseppe MC Rosano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Elderly and women have been often under-represented in randomised clinical trials (RCTs) testing the effect of treatments on cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) even though these diseases highly affect both of them. Aims Taking into account these issues, the aim of this review is to critically analyse the topic of under-representation of elderly and women in cardiovascular RCTs. Conclusions Compared to their younger counterparts, elderly have a higher incidence of disease-related morbidities, take more medicines and account for more adverse drug related events. Similarly, women present several differences in CVD pathophysiology, clinical manifestations and outcomes in comparison to their male counterparts. For these reasons, the results of RCTs obtained in younger men cannot be simply translated in elderly and women. Unfortunately, although international guidelines have been published to increase the enrolment of elderly and women, their recruitment is still insufficient. Thus, the inclusion of these subgroups in cardiovascular RCTs is a key aspect to acquire evidence-based knowledge in the understanding and management of CVDs in elderly and women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)216-221
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiology
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2017


  • Cardiovascular
  • Clinical trials
  • Elderly
  • Heart failure
  • Pharmacology
  • Prognosis
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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