Women's Health
Resources
Basic InformationLatest News
Exercise Might Make Breast Milk's Goodness Even BetterPreterm Birth Ups Mom's Long-Term Heart Disease Risk: StudyAffection, at Least for Women, May Be Rooted in GenesHormones May Explain Greater Prevalence of Alzheimer's in WomenCoronavirus Delivering a Big Economic Blow to WomenAHA News: Persistent Depression Might Increase Heart Disease Risk for Women With HIVStatins Tied to Significantly Lower Death Rate From Ovarian CancerPandemic Affecting Mental Health of Pregnant Women, New MomsClimate Change, Smog Could Mean More Preemie Babies: StudyFemale Athletes Shortchange Themselves on NutritionWomen Still Left Out of Much Medical ResearchAHA News: Pregnant Women With Heart Defects Don't Always Get This Recommended TestNot a Myth -- Contraceptives Can Cause Weight GainMeds Like Valium, Xanax Linked to Higher Risk of Ectopic PregnancyAt-Home Gene Test for Breast, Ovarian Cancers Looks EffectiveWomen Less Likely to Get Standard Heart MedicationsGood News for Menopausal Women Who Take HopsBlack and White Women Share the Same Genetic Risk for Breast Cancer'Good Bacteria' Might Help Fight a Common Gynecologic InfectionMore Evidence Sugary Drinks Harm Women's HeartsAHA News: Prenatal Supplement May Increase Blood Pressure at High DosesAHA News: How Pregnant Woman's High Blood Pressure Can Change Shape of Baby's HeartMenopause May Someday Disappear as Women Postpone Pregnancy: StudyRural Women at Higher Risk of Early Death From Heart DiseaseEven During Pandemic, Childbirth Safest in Hospital, Doctors' Group SaysDo C-Section Babies Become Heavier Adults?High-Fiber Diets May Lower Odds for Breast CancerWomen in Their 50s Can Lower Their Stroke Risk – Here's HowWhen Arteries Narrow, Chest Pain Can Come Earlier for Women Than MenRacial, Ethnic Gaps in Insurance Put Moms, Babies at Risk: StudyStatins Might Reduce Harms From Breast Cancer ChemoExpectant Moms: Take Care and Don't Panic About CoronavirusGene Tests May Guard Older Breast Cancer Patients Against Other TumorsAHA News: Changing the Way We View Women's Heart Attack SymptomsMaria Shriver Sounds the Alarm on Women and Alzheimer'sAHA News: Estrogen Therapy in Early Menopause May Help Keep Arteries ClearDon't Wait, for Your Baby's Sake: Quit Smoking Before You're PregnantFemale Firefighters Face Higher Exposure to CarcinogensNew Moms Need to Watch Out for High Blood PressureBad Sleep, Bad Diet = Bad Heart?A Woman's Guide to Skin Care During and After MenopauseAHA News: What Women Need to Know About Breast Cancer and Heart DiseaseIs High Blood Pressure in First Pregnancy a Harbinger of Heart Trouble?'Couch Potato' Lifestyle Poses Danger to Women's HeartsWomen Patients Still Missing in Heart Research2 in 3 Women Unhappy With Their Breast Size. Could That Harm Their Health?Pregnant Moms Who Smoke, Drink Put Babies at Risk of SIDS: Study2 in 3 Americans Unaware That Heart Disease Is Leading Killer of WomenEmployers Need to Do More to Help Breastfeeding Moms: SurveyStrong Support Network Is Key to Women's Cancer Recovery: Study
LinksSelf-Help Groups
Related Topics

Wellness and Personal Development
Mental Disorders

AHA News: Rising Blood Pressure Puts Women At Greater Stroke Risk Than Men


HealthDay News
Updated: Aug 13th 2019

new article illustration

TUESDAY, Aug. 13, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- As the severity of high blood pressure rises, the risk of stroke rises almost twice as quickly in women compared with men, according to a new study.

Published Tuesday in the journal Hypertension, the research raises the question of whether sex-specific guidelines may be needed for controlling high blood pressure.

High blood pressure is the most common modifiable risk factor for stroke, which is the third leading cause of death for women and the fifth leading cause for men.

For people under 60, high blood pressure is less prevalent in women than men, study authors said. But it becomes more prevalent in older women, who are less likely to keep their blood pressure under control as they age.

"Our findings basically suggest that the risk of stroke may increase with each level of hypertension, more so in women than men," said Dr. Tracy Madsen, the study's lead author. She is an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Alpert Medical School of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

Madsen's team looked at sex and racial differences in the level of hypertension severity and stroke risk in 26,461 men and women in the United States. More than half of participants were women, 40% were black, and the average age of men was 66, while for women it was 64.

The study included an oversampling of people living in the southeastern states of the so-called "stroke belt," which includes Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. People in the region have a 34% higher risk of stroke than their counterparts elsewhere in the country.

Researchers found that for every 10 mmHg increase in blood pressure, the risk of stroke widened between white women and men, and the risk of stroke across increasing levels of blood pressure was about twice as high in women than men. These sex differences did not hold true, however, among black men and women, even though this group experienced more severe hypertension than whites.

The dramatic contrast in stroke risk between men and women suggests a need for closer examination of how hypertension behaves in each group, Madsen said. Women have too often been underrepresented in clinical trials, despite their higher prevalence for stroke and stroke-related mortality.

"We need to see if this (gap) holds true in a prospective, randomized clinical trial and whether it would be helpful to have tighter blood pressure control for women," she said.

Not everyone agrees these findings point to a potential need for sex-specific guidelines for treating hypertension.

That issue was evaluated when the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology developed new guidelines for controlling blood pressure in 2017, said Dr. Paul Whelton, who chaired the guideline writing committee. People are considered to have high blood pressure if their systolic, or top number, is 130 or higher or their diastolic, the bottom number, is 80 or higher.

"For treatment, there hasn't been any convincing demonstration that there's much of a difference between men and women," said Whelton, a professor at Tulane University in New Orleans and the Show Chwan Health System Endowed Chair in Global Public Health.

He said the new study's findings surprised him, but more research is needed before making any conclusions.

"The differences in this study are fairly substantial," he said. "It raises a red flag, but for me, at least, I don't think it has convincingly demonstrated an answer one way or another."

Madsen's team also looked at how the number of hypertensive medications a person was taking impacted their risk for stroke.

They found the more medications it took to maintain good blood pressure control, the higher that person's stroke risk. That risk increased 23% for each additional class of medication. This held equally true for both men and women.

"This does not suggest that the medications themselves increase the risk of stroke," Madsen said. "But someone who takes three medications to maintain a systolic blood pressure level of 140 mmHg has a higher stroke risk than someone who needs only one medication to reach that same level. It's because their blood pressure is more difficult to control or resistant to treatment."

Madsen said the study points to the need to gather more sex-specific data in future investigations.

"There are hidden sex differences in many disease processes that we really don't even know about," she said. "We may not have enough data to say that tomorrow we need to implement sex-specific guidelines for how we treat hypertension, but we also don't have the data to say that our one-size-fits-all approach to stroke prevention is the right one."




328 W. Claiborne St.
P.O. Box 964
Monroeville,
Alabama 36460
Tel: (251)575-4203
Fax:(251)575-9459


powered by centersite dot net