Underrepresentation of Women in Reduced Ejection Heart Failure Clinical Trials With Improved Mortality or Hospitalization. JACC. Advances Ekpo, E., Balla, S., Ngo, S., Witting, C., Sarraju, A., Furst, A., Rodriguez, F. 2024; 3 (1)


BACKGROUND: There are established sex-specific differences in heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) outcomes. Randomized clinical trials (RCTs) based on cardiovascular outcome benefits, typically either reduced cardiovascular mortality or hospitalization for heart failure (HHF), influence current guidelines for therapy.OBJECTIVES: The authors evaluate the representation of women in HFrEF RCTs that observed reduced all-cause or cardiovascular mortality or HHF.METHODS: We queried Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Excerpta Medica dataBASE, Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System Online, and PubMed for HFrEF RCTs that reported a statistically significant benefit of intervention resulting in improved mortality or HHF published from 1980 to 2021. We estimated representation using the participation-to-prevalence ratio (PPR). A PPR of 0.8 to 1.2 was considered representative.RESULTS: The final analysis included 33 RCTs. Women represented only 23.2% of all enrolled participants (n = 24,366/104,972), ranging from 11.4% to 40.1% per trial. Overall PPR was 0.58, with per-trial PPR estimates ranging from 0.29 to 1.00. Only 5 trials (15.2%) had a PPR of women representative of the disease population. Representation did not change significantly over time. The proportion of women in North American trials was significantly greater than trials conducted in Europe (P = 0.03). The proportion of women was greater in industry trials compared to government-funded trials (P = 0.05).CONCLUSIONS: Women are underrepresented in HFrEF RCTs that have demonstrated mortality or HHF benefits and influence current guidelines. Representation is key to further delineation of sex-specific differences in major trial results. Sustained efforts are warranted to ensure equitable and appropriate inclusion of women in HFrEF trials.

View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jacadv.2023.100743

View details for PubMedID 38405270