Women’s blood vessels, including large and small arteries, age at a faster rate than men The findings, published today in the journal “JAMA Cardiology,” could help explain why women tend to develop some types of cardiovascular diseases and with frequencies different from those of men.
“We have long believed that women simply ‘reach’ men at their cardiovascular risk,” says Susan Cheng, lead author of the study and director of Public Health Research at the Smidt Heart Institute in Cedars-Sinai (USA). .). “Our research not only confirms that women have a biology and physiology different from those of their male counterparts, but also illustrates why women may be more susceptible to developing certain types of cardiovascular diseases and at different times of life.”
Cheng and his team analyzed measured blood pressure, a critical indicator of cardiovascular risk, based on the sex of the study participants. In total, they reviewed almost 145,000 blood pressure measurements, compiled in series over a period of 43 years and from 32,833 participants aged between 5 and 98 years.
The researchers found that the progression and evolution of the vascular function of women is very different from that of men
Because a person’s risk of developing a heart attack, heart failure or stroke usually begins with the presence of high blood pressure or hypertension, the researchers analyzed their data to identify patterns on how the increase in blood pressure occurs . Subsequently, instead of comparing the data of men and women with each other, they compared women with women and men with men.
Thanks to this novel approach, the researchers found that the progression and evolution of the vascular function of women is very different from that of men. In fact, women showed signs of increased blood pressure much earlier than men.
“Our data showed that rates of progression in blood pressure elevation were significantly higher in women than in men, starting earlier in life,” says Cheng. That is, “this means that, if we define the hypertension threshold in exactly the same way, a 30-year-old woman with high blood pressure is likely to have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease than a man in the same situation at the same age.”
This new research should help guide doctors and researchers to think differently when it comes to treating and studying women and their cardiovascular health.
For Christine Albert, this new research should help guide doctors and researchers to think differently when it comes to treating and studying women and their cardiovascular health.
in female heart health
they have a long history of advocating for the adequate inclusion of women in research and
need to recognize and study sex differences in cardiovascular physiology and disease
Albert says. This study reminds us again that many aspects of our evaluation and cardiovascular therapy must be adapted specifically for women ». Thus, this researcher concludes, “the results of studies conducted in men cannot be extrapolated directly to women.” .