(HealthDay)—Blood pressure (BP) measures progress more rapidly in women than in men, starting in the third decade and continuing through the life course, according to a study published online Jan. 15 in JAMA Cardiology.
Hongwei Ji, M.D., from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and colleagues conducted sex-specific analyses of longitudinal BP measures (144,599 observations) collected during a 43-year period (1971 to 2014) in four U.S.-based cohort studies. Data were included for 32,833 participants spanning ages 5 to 98 years.
The researchers found that compared with men, women exhibited a steeper increase in BP starting as early as the third decade, which continued through the life course (likelihood ratio test Χ²: 531 for systolic BP, 123 for diastolic BP, 325 for mean arterial pressure [MAP], and 572 for pulse pressure [PP]). These between-sex differences in all BP trajectories persisted after adjustment for multiple cardiovascular disease risk factors (likelihood ratio test Χ²: 314 for systolic BP, 31 for diastolic BP, 129 for MAP, and 485 for PP).
“In contrast with the notion that important vascular diseases in women lag behind men by 10 to 20 years, our findings indicate that certain vascular changes not only develop earlier but also progress faster in women than in men,” the authors write.
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