AHA-logoHeart disease is increasingly becoming a cause for concern across many nations. However, a latest study shares that there are a number of ways to prevent the risks involved. Scientists pinpoint that a large number of middle-aged women worldwide can bring down their chances of suffering from cardiovascular disease. By reducing their blood pressure, apparently complications like stroke, heart attack and heart failure among many others can be taken care of.

High systolic blood pressure was observed to be a major risk factor for cardiovascular complications in many middle-aged and older women. Seemingly, the heart disease can be reversed and even prevented altogether in approximately 36 percent of women in comparison to men who show only 24 percent chances. These proportions were as ascertained by 24-hour systolic blood pressure monitoring.

As part of the investigation, scientists in nearly 11 countries on behalf of the International Database on Ambulatory blood pressure in relation to Cardiovascular Outcomes (IDACO) tracked down 9,357 adults. Among these 47 percent were women and the average age of participants was 53. All through Europe, Asia and South America, these individuals were followed for a period of 11 years. The volunteers were checked for absolute and relative risks of cardiovascular disease linked with systolic blood pressure.

“I was surprised by the study findings that highlight the missed opportunities for prevention of heart disease in older women,” commented Jan A. Staessen, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Studies Coordinating Center in the Division of Cardiovascular Rehabilitation at the University of Leuven in Belgium. “We found that a 15 mm Hg increase in systolic blood pressure increased the risk of cardiovascular disease by 56 percent in women compared to 32 percent in men.”

Nighttime blood pressure readings are said to be better because there are lower chances of it being affected by physical activity.
“It is recognized that women live longer than men, but that older women usually report lower quality of life than men. By lowering systolic pressure by 15 mm Hg in hypertensive women, there would be an increased benefit in quality of life by the prevention of cardiovascular disease in about 40 percent in women compared to 20 percent in men,” Staessen added.

Women and physicians according to the scientist should be more upfront about the diagnosis and treatment of high systolic blood pressure.

The study appears in Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association.