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Women’s blood vessels may age faster than men’s

Our friends at Healthline.com recently published an article about the aging of women’s blood vessels. Check out the full article here: https://www.healthline.com/health-news/women-blood-pressure-rises-more-quickly-than-men

In a recent study, results have shown that women’s blood vessels may age faster than men’s. This research shows why women may develop earlier and different forms of cardiovascular diseases. Blood pressure elevations have been seen occurring in women as early as 30 years old, whereas in men this change begins to happen much later in life.

“We had previously known that measures of arterial stiffening tend to accelerate faster in women compared to men in later life, after the menopausal transition, but these findings indicate that the faster acceleration in arterial changes really begins much earlier in life, and that sex differences in the pattern actually persists from the younger all the way through to the older decades of aging,” said Dr. Susan Cheng, senior author of the study and director of public health research at the Cedars-Sinai Smidt Heart Institute in Los Angeles.

Statistics from the Study

Over the course of the study, 32,000 participants (ranging from ages 5 to 98) underwent blood pressure measurement tests just under 145,000 times over a 40-year period. Researchers then dissected the data to seek out any patterns of blood pressure issues.

In an interview with HealthLine.com, Cheng said, ”Blood pressure is a very accessible way to get a sense of how a person is doing in terms of their general vascular health, and it is a pretty reliable method for gauging the likelihood of a person developing a vascular-related disease condition in the future. When we looked at the data this way, we realized that it wasn’t just that women were catching up to men, but that rates of acceleration in blood pressure elevation were significantly higher in women than in men starting early in life, well before the menopausal transition, indicating that females really are different from males and we need to think about them differently when it comes to both health and disease.”

Women’s Blood Pressure & Heart Health

This study is just one of many in an ongoing and extensive research to better understand the physical differences between males and females, as it pertains to cardiovascular health. This research helps medical professionals understand the different needs and risks between the opposite sexes and can help create a plan for early cardiovascular issues.

Dr. Megan Kamath, a cardiologist at UCLA Health in Los Angeles, told Healthline, “For many years, men and women with cardiovascular disease were treated similarly because the intrinsic physiologic differences between men and women that play a role in how the cardiovascular system functions were not fully understood. Recent research now shows that there are subtle differences in the cardiovascular systems of men and women that can begin early in life. We need to continue to investigate how these differences may affect women and their cardiovascular function across their lifetime.”

According to the American Heart Association and estimated 103 million adults in the United States have some form of elevated blood pressure. This is an alarming number of individuals who have a higher chance of developing/having strokes, heart disease, and kidney damage.

Dr. Susan Cheng says, “We are hoping this research helps to raise awareness around the fact that women and men have intrinsic differences in biology and physiology that extend well beyond the effects hormones — and that these intrinsic differences do tend to impact the way women and men respond differently to exposures and treatments. We generally consider women to present with less severe forms of the most common types of cardiovascular disease, and they tend to present later in life when compared to men. We are becoming increasingly aware that the truth is probably not so simple.”

Vascular Cures stresses the importance of a healthy lifestyle, especially in regard to vascular health. These articles are posted to inform our readers and patients of information we find relevant and helpful, but we always recommend speaking to a healthcare professional before making any type of lifestyle change.

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