High blood pressure in women "more dangerous" than in men
Women with high blood pressure are at higher risk than men for vascular disease, according to a study published in the journal Therapeutic Advances in Cardiovascular Disease.
Researchers found differences in the mechanisms that cause high blood pressure in women, compared to men. This is the first study to consider gender as a way to determine the best treatments for high blood pressure.
The scientists looked at 100 men and women with untreated high blood pressure. All were at least 53 years old. The researchers performed a series of specialized tests to see whether the heart or blood vessels were involved in increasing blood pressure. The tests measured forces involved in circulating blood, and hormone profiles of the mechanisms behind high blood pressure.
Results showed that compared with men who had the same level of high blood pressure, the women in the study had 30 to 40 percent more vascular disease. They also saw physiologic differences in the cardiovascular systems of women, such as the levels and types of hormones involved in regulating blood pressure. Researchers say this can affect the severity of heart disease.
The researchers concluded that treatment should be tailored to the female mechanisms that cause high blood pressure.