When it comes to women and blood pressure, should it be monitored differently? A new study suggests that may be the case.
Measuring blood pressure is the norm during doctor visits, as high blood pressure is a major factor in heart disease. Up until now, the general healthy range for blood pressure is 120/80 mm Hg.
However, according to a new study published in Circulation on February 15, 2021, that metric may not apply to women. The study suggests that while a healthy systolic (top number) range for men is 120 or less, for women it may be 110 or less.
Blood Pressure and Women’s Health
The top cause of death in the U.S. is heart disease, which is why it’s so important to maintain healthy blood pressure. While we have generally assumed that both men and women share the same healthy range, this may not be the case.
“[Normal blood pressure is] a lot more different [in men and women] than we realized,” said Dr. Susan Cheng, senior author of the study. Cheng is director of the Institute for Research on Healthy Aging at Cedars-Sinai’s Smidt Heart Institute in Los Angeles.
By studying over 27,000 participants, the researchers of the study came to the conclusion that a healthy systolic range for women is under 110 mm Hg. Women with levels higher than 110 mm Hg had higher risks of developing a cardiovascular disease (heart attack, stroke, etc.).
High blood pressure is a significant factor in heart disease and lifestyle habits have a big impact on developing it. While some factors such as age, sex, and genetics are not modifiable, adopting healthy habits can go a long way in decreasing the risk.
Tips for Women
Cheng encourages women and their doctors to reexamine blood pressure health and personalize it according to their patient. “Even when it looks like it’s in the normal range for everybody… if it’s above 110 it’s something to keep an eye on,” said Cheng.
Cheng recommends women use an at-home blood pressure monitor and measure their levels on their own. By doing various measurements at home, women will be able to find their true average.
Moreover, she recommends steps like altering diet and lifestyle to help lower blood pressure.
How to Lower Blood Pressure
Everyone needs to maintain good blood pressure levels and decrease their risk of high blood pressure. Regular aerobic exercise and healthy eating habits like following the DASH diet can make a big difference.
In addition to leading a healthy life, you can use heart health supplements like L-arginine Plus to promote your circulation. L-arginine Plus works by combining l-arginine, l-citrulline, and key vitamins and minerals to increase nitric oxide production.
In turn, nitric oxide dilates blood vessels, resulting in better blood flow and circulation throughout the body. Add L-arginine Plus to your healthy routine and give your blood pressure the extra support it needs.