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The New York Times: Blood Pressure Patterns Are Different for Women

The New York Times recently interviewed Susan Cheng, MD, MPH, MMSc, director of Public Health Research at the Smidt Heart Institute, about her recent research study on how blood pressure affects women differently than men. Cheng’s research was featured on various other news sites, including Good Morning America, The Today Show and U.S. News & World Report.

The research study, which was published in the peer-reviewed medical journal JAMA Cardiology, showed for the first time that women's blood vessels – including both large and small arteries – age at a faster rate than men's. The findings could help to explain why women tend to develop different types of cardiovascular disease and with different timing than men.

“The fundamental anatomy and physiology are very different in men and women,” said Cheng. “I would encourage all to catch it as it starts to creep up, but keeping an eye on blood pressure is especially important for women.”

As The New York Times explains, Cheng and her research team 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.

“Our data showed that rates of accelerating blood pressure elevation were significantly higher in women than men, starting earlier in life,” said Cheng, who also serves as director of Cardiovascular Population Sciences at the Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center. “This means that if we define the hypertension threshold the exact same way, a 30-year old woman with high blood pressure is probably at higher risk for cardiovascular disease than a man with high blood pressure at the same age.”

Click here to read the complete story on the New York Times.

Read more on the Cedars-Sinai Blog: Common Heart Attack Symptoms Women May Not Recognize