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J Am Soc Hypertens. 2013 Sep-Oct;7(5):379-85. doi: 10.1016/j.jash.2013.05.007. Epub 2013 Jul 12.

Women have significantly greater difference between central and peripheral arterial pressure compared with men: the Bogalusa Heart Study.

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Tulane University School of Medicine, Tulane University Heart and Vascular Institute, New Orleans, LA.


Gender differences in the relationship between central and peripheral blood pressure (BP) are not well described. We sought to investigate gender differences between central systolic blood pressure (cSBP) and peripheral systolic blood pressure (pSBP) in adults in the Bogalusa study population. This study enrolled adults in a cross sectional survey conducted in 2007 to 2010. BP was measured with a standard cuff and Omron applanation tonometer. Data were available from 876 participants. Participants were 57.9% female and 42.1% male (mean age, 43.5 ± 4.4 years). Mean (standard deviation) for cSBP - pSBP was 1.0 (6.9) for males and 7.4 (5.2) for females (P < .001). Augmentation index (AI) was higher in women (men, 70.8 ± 14 vs. women: 85.5 ± 13; P < .01), as well as AI standardized to heart rate (HR) of 75 (AI@75; men, 68.5 ± 13 vs. women, 84.4 ± 11.8; P < .01). Female participants had greater difference between cSBP and pSBP than males. This suggests that, given similar peripheral BP, females might be at higher risk for developing target organ damage. Women in this study had higher AI, which may contribute to the difference found between cSBP and pSBP. These findings may explain why women have more age-related left ventricular hypertrophy, and poorer prognosis following myocardial infarction compared with males.


Blood pressure; augmentation index; central blood pressure; gender differences

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