Blood pressure patterns are different for women

(Nicholas Bakalar/ New York Times) — Blood pressure begins to increase at younger ages in women than in men, and it goes up at a faster rate, a new study reports.

On average, women who develop heart disease are about 10 years older than men who develop it. But this report, published in JAMA cardiology, suggests that high blood pressure, one of the most important controllable risk factors for cardiovascular disease, begins at a younger age in women than men, and rises faster. The physiological processes that lead to heart disease, the findings suggest, may start earlier in women than in men.

The scientists used data collected over 43 years in 32,833 people ages 5 to 98. They found that by the time women are in their 20s, they are showing faster rates of increases in blood pressure than men, and the difference persists throughout life. (…)

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