Impact of sex differences in co-morbidities and medication adherence on outcome in 25 776 heart failure patients

Muhammed T. Gürgöze, Onno P. van der Galiën, Marlou A.M. Limpens, Stefan Roest, René C. Hoekstra, Arne S. IJpma, Jasper J. Brugts, Olivier C. Manintveld, Eric Boersma*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Aims: Health insurance claims (HIC) databases in the Netherlands capture unselected patient populations, which makes them suitable for epidemiological research on sex differences. Based on a HIC database, we aimed to reveal sex differences in heart failure (HF) outcomes, with particular focus on co-morbidities and medication. Methods and results: The Achmea HIC database included 14 517 men and 11 259 (45%) women with a diagnosis treatment code for chronic HF by January 2015. We related their sex, co-morbidities, and medication adherence (medication possession rate >0.8) with the primary endpoint (PE) of all-cause mortality or HF admission during a median follow-up of 3.3 years, using Cox regression. Median age of men and women was 72 and 76 years, respectively. Prevalence of co-morbidities and use of disease-modifying drugs was higher in men; however, medication adherence was similar. At the end of follow-up, 35.1% men and 31.8% women had reached the PE. The adjusted hazard ratio for men was 1.25 (95% confidence interval: 1.19–1.30). A broad range of co-morbidities was associated with the PE. Overall, these associations were stronger in women than in men, particularly for renal insufficiency, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease/asthma, and diabetes. Non-adherence to disease-modifying drugs was related with a higher incidence of the PE, with similar effects between sexes. Conclusions: In a representative sample of the Dutch population, as captured in a HIC database, men with chronic HF had a 25% higher incidence of death or HF admission than women. The impact of co-morbidities on the outcome was sex dependent, while medication adherence was not.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-73
Number of pages11
JournalESC heart failure
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

This project was supported by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (780495).

Publisher Copyright: ©2020 The Authors. ESC Heart Failure published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology.

Research programs

  • EMC COEUR-09


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