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High Blood Pressure in Women and Men Not Created Equal

Darrin Klimek/Thinkstock(WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.) -- Treatment for high blood pressure should likely be addressed sooner in women than men, a study out of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center suggests.

According to lead author Dr. Carlos Ferrario, this flies in the face of conventional wisdom that hypertension and its dangers are the same for both sexes.

However, Ferrario and his associates discovered substantial differences in what causes spikes in women's blood pressure compared to men.

After looking at men and women over age 53 with untreated high blood pressure, they found women had 30 percent to 40 percent more vascular disease than men even though their BP readings were the same.

Meanwhile, these differences in a woman's cardiovascular system, such as hormone level, can add to the severity and frequency of heart disease, further reinforcing the view that women's high blood pressure should be treated more aggressively than men's.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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