A Canadian study suggests that the reason men tend to have higher systolic blood pressure (SBP) than women could be because as boys get older their SBP tends to be higher than girls of equivalent age.

The results of the 5 year study are in the current issue of Circulation, a journal of the American Heart Association.

Canadian researchers tracked a group of 1200 adolescents from 1999 to 2005 and took measurements at grades 7, 9 and 11. At grade 7 they found the incidence of high SBP to be split about 50-50 between boys and girls. However, as the group reached grade 11 the high SBP group comprised 67% boys.

The study also suggests that for both male and female adolescents, reducing sedentary behaviour and increasing physical activity may lower SBP, even if they are overweight.

“Emergence of Sex Differences in Prevalence of High Systolic Blood Pressure. Analysis of a Longitudinal Adolescent Cohort”
Kaberi Dasgupta MD, MSc, Jennifer O’Loughlin PhD, Shunfu Chen MSc, Igor Karp PhD, Gilles Paradis MD, MSc, Johanne Tremblay PhD, Pavel Hamet MD, PhD, and Louise Pilote MD, PhD.
Circulation 2006
Click here to view Abstract online.

Written by: Catharine Paddock
Writer: Medical News Today