Women have higher left ventricular ejection fractions than men independent of differences in left ventricular volume: The Dallas heart study

Anne K. Chung, Sandeep R Das, David Leonard, Ronald M Peshock, Farhana Kazi, Shuaib M Abdullah, Russell M. Canham, Benjamin D Levine, Mark H Drazner

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109 Scopus citations


Background - Although gender-specific criteria are common for defining cardiac traits such as left ventricular hypertrophy, left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) thresholds widely used in clinical practice have traditionally been the same for women and men, perhaps because it remains uncertain whether there is a systematic difference in LVEF between genders. Methods and Results - Using cardiac magnetic resonance imaging in a probability-based sample of Dallas County residents aged 30 to 65 years (1435 women and 1183 men), we compared LVEF in women and men. The association of gender with stroke volume independent of end-diastolic volume (EDV) or other potential confounders was assessed by multivariable analysis. Gender-specific thresholds for a low LVEF were defined at the 2.5th percentile in women and men from a healthy reference subpopulation. The median (25th, 75th percentile) LVEF was higher in women than in men (75% [70%, 79%] in women versus 70% [65%, 75%] in men, P<0.001). Left ventricular EDV and end-systolic volume indexed to body surface area were smaller in women than in men (P<0.001 for both). Gender remained significantly associated with stroke volume, independent of EDV and other potential confounders in multivariable analysis. A low LVEF was defined as below 61% in women and below 55% in men. Conclusions - Women have a higher LVEF than men in the general population, secondary to a higher stroke volume for a given EDV independent of known potential confounders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1597-1604
Number of pages8
Issue number12
StatePublished - Mar 1 2006



  • Cardiac volume
  • Epidemiology
  • Heart failure
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Myocardial contraction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

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