Ischemic heart disease represents a major cause of mortality both in men and in women. In addition to traditional cardiovascular risk factors, emerging evidence suggest that psychosocial factors, including depression, work- and marital-related stress, low socioeconomic status, are linked with cardiovascular disease and hypertension. This association seems to be tighter in women than in men, but more studies are required to demonstrate these findings, with potentially relevant clinical consequences. A multidisciplinary approach is warranted to firmly establish the role of gender as an effect modifier in the relationship between psychosocial factors and clinical outcomes such as blood pressure.
Keywords: Arterial hypertension; cardiovascular disease; gender; psychosocial factors; stress; blood pressure.