Question: Do men or women have a greater risk of getting heart failure?
Answer: Gender does matter in the development of congestive heart failure. The overall incidence of congestive heart failure in the population is 2.5 percent. Under the age of 55, more men than women have the diagnosis of congestive heart failure. At age 55, it is equal -- equal amounts men and women with the diagnosis of congestive heart failure. However, women tend to live an average of seven years longer with this diagnosis than their male counterparts. In addition, there are two types of congestive heart failure. There is systolic heart failure, which means the ejection fraction or squeeze of the heart is low, and diastolic heart failure, which means the ejection fraction or squeeze of the heart is actually normal. More women than men are diagnosed with the latter, diastolic dysfunction than systolic dysfunction. And this is more evident as women age. And they tend to live a longer amount with normal ejection heart failure.