Abstract P170: Portfolio Analysis on Sex and Gender Differences Research in Hypertension at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
Objectives: While epidemiological studies show that blood pressure levels and the prevalence of hypertension are subject to sex-differences, the mechanisms responsible for this sexual dimorphism are poorly understood. To gain a better understanding of funding trends and topics in the field of sex/gender differences in hypertension research, we performed a portfolio analysis of National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) awards related to “sex differences” active between FY1991-2014.
Analysis: A list of NHLBI awards (including subprojects) active in FY1991-2014 was obtained through an NIH RePORTER search using the following terms: “sex differences”, “gender differences”, “X chromosome”, “Y chromosome”, “sex hormones”, “preeclampsia”, “pregnancy hypertension” and “menopause”. The abstracts and specific aims of all the awards were read by staff in order to eliminate “false positives” (grants unrelated to sex/gender differences). Applications were further analyzed and categorized according to specific disease focus (e.g. hypertension, cardiovascular disease, preeclampsia etc.).
Results: The number of NHLBI research awards related to sex and gender differences in hypertension being funded has progressively increased from FY 1991 (40 awards) to 2014 (140 awards), for a cumulative total of 2231 awards. Similarly, the overall dollar investment has also progressively increased from $6.1 million (FY 1991) to $76.3 million (FY2014), for a cumulative $837 million. According to the disease focus, in FY 2014, only 15% of active awards directly relate to sex/gender differences in hypertension, with 55% of awards relating to cardiovascular disease, 19% to pregnancy-related hypertension and 11% to other diseases (e.g. pulmonary hypertension).
Conclusions: NHLBI is funding an increasing number of awards related to sex/gender differences in hypertension. However, the majority of these awards are only broadly related to hypertension per se, more being related to other cardiovascular diseases and pregnancy-related conditions. Our findings warrant more detailed analyses to identify potential knowledge gaps in need of support to further this important research field.
Author Disclosures: C. Maric-Bilkan: A. Employment; Modest; Government Employee. Z. Galis: A. Employment; Modest; Government Employee.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.