Sex Differences in Blood #Pressure Trajectories Over the Life Course

..Women compared with men exhibited a steeper increase in BP that began as early as in the third decade and continued through the life course (likelihood ratio test χ2 = 531 for systolic BP; χ2 = 123 for diastolic BP; χ2 = 325 for MAP; and χ2 = 572 for PP; P for all <.001). After adjustment for multiple cardiovascular disease risk factors, these between-sex differences in all BP trajectories persisted (likelihood ratio test χ2 = 314 for systolic BP; χ2 = 31 for diastolic BP; χ2 = 129 for MAP; and χ2 = 485 for PP; P for all <.001).

Conclusions and Relevance In contrast with the notion that important vascular disease processes in women lag behind men by 10 to 20 years, sex-specific analyses indicate that BP measures actually progress more rapidly in women than in men, beginning early in life. This early-onset sexual dimorphism may set the stage for later-life cardiovascular diseases that tend to present differently, not simply later, in women compared with men.

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