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High Blood Pressure Presents Higher Risks for Women

High blood pressure has been thought to present the same risk to both men and women—until now.


Recent research shows that women with high blood pressure are at more risk than men. Specifically, women with high blood pressure are 30 to 40 percent more likely to develop vascular disease than their male counterparts. In addition, there are physiological differences in sexes that affect the severity and frequency of heart disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women.

With one in three adults afflicted by high blood pressure in the U.S., this research may have a big impact on how many people are treated for it.

“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,” said lead researcher Dr. Carlos Ferrario.

New methods for treating high blood pressure in women may start surfacing, including treating it earlier and more aggressively.

There are things you do now to help lower your blood pressure. Maintain a healthy body weight, stay physically active, don’t smoke and limit alcohol intake. You should also have a healthy diet. Eat more potassium-rich fruits and vegetables, like tomatoes, bananas and potatoes. Another way to lower blood pressure is to reduce how much salt you eat. Read food labels, eat less processed foods and don’t add extra salt to your meals.


The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.