By: on In Strokes News

Increased Blood Pressure Places Females At Greater Risk For Stroke

According to a recent study, as blood pressure increases, the chances of stroke rise as fast as double in females, versus their male counterparts.

As the most common and adaptable risk factor when it comes to stroke, high blood pressure is the fifth leading cause of death for men, while it is the third leading cause of death for women.

According to MedicalXpress, the study’s authors, for those under the age of 60, high blood pressure is not as predominant in females as it is in males; however, it does become more widespread in older women who aren’t likely to keep blood pressure under control as they grow older. The study’s findings suggest that the chances of stroke may enhance within each level of hypertension, more so in females than males.

The team reviewed racial differences and sex when it came to levels of hypertension severity and the chances of stroke in over 26,400 males and females across the U.

S. Over half of those that participated where female, 40 percent were black, and the average age of female participants were 64, while it was 66 for the males of the group.

The research included an oversampling of individuals living within what is dubbed “the stroke belt” (southeastern states), including: Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Indiana, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Mississippi. Individuals within these areas have a 34 percent enhanced chance of stroke versus their counterparts across the U.S.

The team discovered that for every 10-mmHg enhancement in blood pressure, the chances of stroke increased within white women and men, and the chances of stroke across these heightened blood pressure levels doubled women, versus men. These gender blood pressure differences were not the same when it came to black men and women, despite the fact that the group experienced more severe hypertension than the Caucasian group. 

In fact, some believe the research findings suggest there may be a need for gender-specific hypertension guidelines; however, most would agree that while the results are surprising, more research is needed before proceeding on this.