High blood pressure worse for women

A new study has found that, although high blood pressure is treated in the same way for women and men, it could be a much more dangerous condition for women.

A study, undertaken by scientists at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Centre in the USA, has found that there are significant differences in the mechanisms which cause high blood pressure in women and men.

The study included 100 participants, both men and women, who were all aged 53 or over. All the participants had untreated high blood pressure, but no other major diseases. The scientists ran a test on each of the participants which showed whether it was the heart or the blood vessels which were primarily involved in causing the high blood pressure.

The tests found that women had 30 to 40 per cent more vascular disease compared to men with a similar level of blood pressure elevation. This means that whatever is causing high blood pressure in women is causing significantly more damage, with fewer warning signs.

Currently all high blood pressure is treated in the same way, regardless of gender, but the study suggests that this may not be the best way to continue. Dr Carlos Ferrario, professor of surgery and lead author of the study, explained, “Our study findings suggest a need to better understand the female sex-specific underpinnings of the hypertensive processes to tailor optimal treatments for this vulnerable population. We need to evaluate new protocols – what drugs, in what combination and in what dosage – to treat women with high blood pressure.”

Read more at the ScienceDaily website

Have you had your blood pressure checked recently? How often do you get a check-up?