Predicting new-onset heart failure in women


With this study, we set out to investigate the sex-differences in the pathophysiology, molecular processes and biomarker levels to predict new-onset heart failure in women.


There are important sex-related differences in myocardial remodelling patterns, with a concentric remodelling pattern more commonly observed in women and an eccentric remodelling pattern more commonly observed in men. Sex-related differences are also observed in heart failure (HF) subtypes, with preserved ejection fraction HF (HF with a stiff heart) more commonly observed in women and reduced ejection fraction HF (HF with a thinned-out heart) more commonly observed in men. However, HF is usually identified late in the time course of disease progression in both sexes, and preventive measures at this stage may not be very effective. If HF risk could be predicted earlier, or if HF is diagnosed at an early stage, it may be possible to stop disease progression or prevent / prolong HF development.

Examining sex-related differences in molecular processes and biomarkers related to HF may provide important insights into sex-specific pathophysiology of HF occurring in early phases of disease and may be useful in developing sex-specific risk prediction models, but data are limited.

Our aims

  • To understand sex-related differences in HF pathophysiology by studying sex-related differences in molecular processes and biomarkers associated with HF, with a special focus on women.
  • To examine if cardiovascular risk factors and biomarkers predict HF differentially in women and in men, and if so, design a sex-specific HF risk prediction model.

Supported by

For our analysis, we leveraged data from the Prevention of Renal and Vascular End-stage Disease study (PREVEND), the Framingham Heart Study (FHS), the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA), and the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS).

In collaboration with

  • Dr. Vanessa van Empel (Principal Investigator, MUMC, Maastricht)
  • Prof. Dr. Stephane Heymans (Principal Investigator, MUMC, Maastricht)
  • Prof. Blanche Schroen (Principal Investigator, MUMC, Maastricht)

People involved

Principal investigators

Laura Meems


Aad Withaar


Navin Suthahar


Press & publications

Sex-specific associations of obesity and N-Terminal Pro-B-Type Natriuretic Peptide levels in the general population

Navin Suthahar, Wouter C Meijers, Jennifer E Ho, Ron T Gansevoort, Adriaan A Voors, Peter van der Meer, Stephan J L Bakker, Stephane Heymans, Vanessa van Empel, Blanche Schroen, Pim van der Harst, Dirk J van Veldhuisen, and Rudolf A de Boer. Eur J Heart Fail. 2018.

view on PubMed