Gender influence on health and risk behavior in primary prevention: a systematic review

Hiller J, Schatz K, Drexler H (2017)

Publication Language: German

Publication Status: Published

Publication Type: Journal article, Review article

Publication year: 2017


Publisher: Springer Verlag

Book Volume: 25

Pages Range: 339-349

Journal Issue: 4

DOI: 10.1007/s10389-017-0798-z

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Prevention plays a crucial part in healthcare systems and is greatly influenced by the health and risk behavior of the population. The extent to which special tailoring to the addressed subjects would be helpful in improving the effectiveness of prevention measures is unknown. Therefore, the goal of this systematic review is to assess gender-specific differences in primary prevention actions.

Subject and Methods

A systematic review was conducted in 2015 by searching the PubMed (Medline) and Cochrane Library databases as well as adding additional studies by cross-referencing. The search focused on studies with an analysis of gender differences in health and risk behavior concerning primary prevention. Therefore, major exclusion criteria were single-gender studies, underage (<18 years) study collectives and secondary or tertiary prevention measures.


In total, 23 studies from 13 different countries were included in the qualitative evaluation. The studies covered 11 different subtopics of primary prevention, but were too diverse in content and type to draw many fundamental conclusions. A meta-analysis was not possible. Generally a tendency for females to be more health-conscious and engaged in preventive behavior could be seen in most subgroups.


The importance of gender-specific prevention measures for the healthcare system is being increasingly stressed, but only a few studies specifically analyzing the influence of gender on preventive behavior could be identified. To implement appropriate primary prevention measures tailored to gender-specific needs, more details and studies on gender differences are needed.

Authors with CRIS profile

How to cite


Hiller, J., Schatz, K., & Drexler, H. (2017). Gender influence on health and risk behavior in primary prevention: a systematic review. Journal of Public Health, 25(4), 339-349.


Hiller, Julia, Kathrina Schatz, and Hans Drexler. "Gender influence on health and risk behavior in primary prevention: a systematic review." Journal of Public Health 25.4 (2017): 339-349.

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