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      The Anti-Ischemic Effect of Metoprolol in Patients with Chronic Angina Pectoris Is Gender-Specific




      S. Karger AG

      Coronary heart disease, Metroprolol, Gender differences

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          Several gender-specific differences in cardiovascular diseases are known and pharmacokinetics of β-blockers shows relevant sex-specific differences. The plasma levels of metoprolol, for example, are higher in women compared to men. However, randomized studies have shown that metoprolol has little or no greater reduction in the mortality of women following myocardial infarction. We tested the hypothesis that metoprolol might have significant gender-specific effects in patients with chronic angina pectoris. Body weight of women was slightly (–9%) less than that of men and the daily dose of metoprolol was similar in both groups. Thus, according to pharmacokinetics women should have obtained higher plasma levels of this drug and the ensuing pharmacologic effects of metoprolol should have been greater. Our results do not confirm this assumption. Metoprolol reduced the frequency of angina episodes and the consumption of nitroglycerin tablets to a similar extent in both sexes. However, the pretreatment hemodynamic profiles confirmed the existence of gender-specific differences: women had significantly higher heart rate and blood pressure both at rest and during exercise. Since both groups were comparable in age, comorbidities, and medications, the existing difference is likely to be due to gender-specificity. The hemodynamic differences persisted during therapy with metoprolol: resting heart rate, blood pressure and rate pressure product were reduced to a greater extent in men. During cycloergometry, there was a slight difference in the time of onset of ST depression and time of onset of angina, which were slightly higher in men, but probably because of the limited number of cases, the difference between men and women did not reach significance. On the other hand, with metoprolol the duration of exercise and, in parallel, the number of metabolic equivalents was significantly greater in males than in females. Thus in spite of a presumed greater plasma concentration of metoprolol in women, we found a significant difference in anti-ischemic effect in favor of men. We conclude that metoprolol might exert a significantly greater therapeutic effect on stress-induced angina pectoris in men than in women and this difference should be taken into account when prescribing this β-blocker.

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          Most cited references 8

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          Female-specific aspects in the pharmacotherapy of chronic cardiovascular diseases.

          Differences in pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and physiology contribute to the phenomenon that women and men frequently respond differently to cardiovascular drugs. Hormonal influences, in addition, can play an important role: for example, the menstrual cycle, menopause, and pregnancy--as a result of fluctuations in concentrations of sexual steroids, and of changes in total body water--can be associated with gender-specific differences in the plasma levels of cardiovascular drugs. Clinical relevance accordingly results, especially for substances with a narrow therapeutic margin. This review treats the most important pharmacodynamic gender-relevant differences in this context, and surveys available evidence on the benefits of therapy of chronic cardiovascular diseases in women. On the whole, the study situation for women is appreciably less favourable than for men: owing to the fact that women are under-represented in most studies, and that few gender-specific analyses have been conducted.
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            Coronary atherogenic risk factors in women.

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              Estrogenic hormone action in the heart: regulatory network and function.

              Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in the industrialised countries and display significant gender-based differences. Estrogen plays an important role in the pathogenesis of heart disease and is able to modulate the progression of cardiovascular disease. The focus on the beneficial influence of estrogen is gradually shifting from the vascular system to the myocardium. The presence of functional estrogen receptors in the myocardium has been demonstrated. Estrogen is important for cardiovascular baseline physiology and modulates the myocardial response under pathological conditions. Here we summarise the current knowledge of the regulatory network of estrogenic action in the myocardium and its effects on cardiovascular function.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                September 2006
                29 September 2006
                : 106
                : 3
                : 147-153
                Cardiology Office, Rheinfelden, Switzerland
                92769 Cardiology 2006;106:147–153
                © 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 3, Tables: 3, References: 23, Pages: 7
                Original Research


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