Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the leading cause of death in both women and men, and important sex and gender differences exist in disease manifestations and outcomes. More women than men die of stroke, and women are more likely than men to develop diastolic heart failure. It is essential to understand both sex differences in traditional risk factors for CVD (e.g. smoking status, hypertension, lack of exercise) as well as the impact of female-specific risk factors including pregnancy exposures (e.g. preeclampsia, preterm delivery), menopause, and hormones. Division of Women’s Health researchers are involved in numerous large population-health studies including the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS), NHS II and NHS 3, Women’s Health Initiative, Southern Community Cohort Study, Hispanic Community Health Study / Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL) and COnsortium of METabolomics Studies (COMETS).


Division of Women’s Health faculty research sex and gender differences in CVD with an emphasis on women’s cardiovascular health throughout many different domains, including:


  • Studying female-specific risk factors for CVD in women including pregnancy exposures, hormonal factors, and menopause
  • Evaluating risk factors for stroke in women and studying why women experience a higher risk of stroke than men
  • Measuring metabolomic profiles and risk of heart disease and stroke in women
  • Examining effects of pregnancy complications, such as preeclampsia and preterm delivery, on risk of CVD
  • Determining race/ethnic differences in risk of CVD in women
  • Evaluating cardiovascular health risks associated with incarceration

Select Publications

Plasma Estradiol and Testosterone Levels and Ischemic Stroke in Postmenopausal Women
Hu J, Lin JH, Jiménez MC, Manson JE, Hankinson SE, Rexrode KM. Stroke. 2020 Feb 14:STROKEAHA119028588. [Epub ahead of print] PMID:32078496


Impact of the 2017 ACC/AHA Guideline for High Blood Pressure on Evaluating Gestational Hypertension-Associated Risks for Newborns and Mothers
Hu J, Li Y, Zhang B, Zheng T, Li J, Peng Y, Zhou A, Buka SL, Liu S, Zhang Y, Shi K, Xia W, Rexrode KM, Xu S. Circ Res. 2019 Jul 5;125(2):184-194. PMID:31104583


Lipid Levels and the Risk of Hemorrhagic Stroke Among Women
Rist PM, Buring JE, Ridker PM, Kase CS, Kurth T, Rexrode KM. Neurology. 2019 May 7;92(19):e2286-e2294. PMID:30971484


Racial Variation in Stroke Risk Among Women by Stroke Risk Factors
Jiménez MC, Manson JE, Cook NR, Kawachi I, Wassertheil-Smoller S, Haring B, Nassir R, Rhee JJ, Sealy-Jefferson S, Rexrode KM. Stroke. 2019 Apr;50(4):797-804. PMID:30869565


Habitual Sleep Quality, Plasma Metabolites and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Post-Menopausal Women
Huang T, Zeleznik OA, Poole EM, Clish CB, Deik AA, Scott JM, Vetter C, Schernhammer ES, Brunner R, Hale L, Manson JE, Hu FB, Redline S, Tworoger SS, Rexrode KM. Int J Epidemiol. 2019 Aug 1;48(4):1262-1274. PMID:30371783