High BP potentially more dangerous for women
Scientists at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center for the first time found significant differences in the mechanisms that cause high blood pressure in women as compared to men.
“This is the first study to consider sex as an element in the selection of antihypertensive agents or base the choice of a specific drug on the various factors accounting for the elevation in blood pressure,” lead author of the study, Carlos Ferrario, said.
Although there has been a significant decline in cardiovascular disease mortality in men during the last 20 to 30 years, the same has not held true for women, Ferrario said.
In the comparative study, 100 men and women age 53 and older with untreated high blood pressure and no other major diseases were evaluated using an array of specialized tests that indicated whether the heart or the blood vessels were primarily involved in elevating the blood pressure.
The researchers found 30 to 40 percent more vascular disease in the women compared to the men for the same level of elevated blood pressure. In addition, there were significant physiologic differences in the women’s cardiovascular system, including types and levels of hormones involved in blood pressure regulation, that contribute to the severity and frequency of heart disease.
The study is published in Therapeutic Advances in Cardiovascular Disease.
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