Blood pressure rises earlier, faster in women than men, study finds

Blood pressure rises more rapidly in women than in men, while also beginning earlier in life, according to a study published Jan. 15 in JAMA Cardiology. 

Researchers analyzed 144,599 blood pressure observations collected from 1971 to 2014, from a total of 32,833 U.S. participants ranging from ages 5 to 98. The study found a steeper increase in blood pressure for women than men starting in their 20s, even though women typically develop heart disease later than men.

"Many of us in medicine have long believed that women simply 'catch up' to men in terms of their cardiovascular risk," Susan Cheng, MD, study author and director of Public Health Research at the Cedars-Sinai Smidt Heart Institute in Los Angeles, said in a statement cited by NBC News.

"Our research not only confirms that women have different biology and physiology than their male counterparts, but also illustrates why it is that women may be more susceptible to developing certain types of cardiovascular disease and at different points in life," Dr. Cheng concluded.

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