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High Blood Pressure May Harm Women More Than Men

Update Date: Jan 02, 2014 12:41 PM EST

For the first time, significant differences have been noted in the mechanisms that cause high blood pressure in women and men.

In the study, conducted by doctors at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, U.S. found that the treatment for high blood pressure in women should be done earlier and more aggressively than it is done in men.

“The medical community thought that high blood pressure was the same for both sexes and treatment was based on that premise,” said Carlos Ferrario, professor of surgery at Wake Forest Baptist and lead author of the study, according to Financial Express.

“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 Ferrario.

They also found that there has been remarkable decline in the number of deaths caused by cardiovascular diseases in men. But the same pattern was not true for women.

Around 100 men aged 53 and above having untreated high blood pressure and no other major disease were evaluated. Researchers performed an array of specialized tests that indicated that heart or the blood vessels were primarily involved in raising the blood pressure.

"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,” added Ferrario.

The study is published in journal Therapeutic Advances in Cardiovascular Disease.

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