Sex, gender and heart disease—MUHC researcher leads Canada-wide team


MONTREAL, 11 May 2005--A new research project involving more than thirty investigators from across Canada has just been launched. The project, known as GENESIS, is Canada's largest multidisciplinary initiative to study the causes of cardiovascular disease--the leading cause of death in Canada.

GENESIS will investigate key unknowns in the way cardiovascular disease is manifested between men and women. Specifically, the project will address both the biological and genetic factors (sex) and social and behavioural factors (gender) involved in cardiovascular disease.

"More Canadians die from cardiovascular disease than from any other cause, yet we know little about the differences in signs and symptoms, treatment and rehabilitation of this disease between men and women," says Dr. Louise Pilote--an epidemiologist at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) in Montreal, and GENESIS lead investigator. "This collaboration involves researchers with complementary expertise, ranging from molecular genetics and biostatistics to sociology and cardiology."

This year, GENESIS will initiate five pilot projects, covering the entire disease process from development to treatment. The pilot projects will help focus long-term research projects to be conducted over the following five years.

Cardiovascular Disease--also known as heart disease--is a degenerative ailment of the cardiovascular system, resulting in blood vessel blockage and ultimately in heart attack. Once considered a predominantly male affliction, the disease is now understood to end the lives of an approximately equal number of each sex--approximately 80,000 Canadian's each year.

GENESIS has received $1.5 million from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (HSFC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), who launched an Interdisciplinary Capacity Enhancement (ICE) initiative to encourage intra- and inter-institutional collaborations; the magnitude of the project's funding is a clear indication of the priority that these organizations place on cardiovascular disease. For more information visit

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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