In general, blood pressure is higher in normotensive men than in age-matched women, and the prevalence of hypertension in men is also higher until after menopause, when the prevalence of hypertension increases for women. It is likely then that the mechanisms by which blood pressure increases in men and women with aging may be different. Although clinical trials to reduce blood pressure with antioxidants have typically not been successful in human cohorts, studies in male rats suggest that oxidative stress plays an important role in mediating hypertension. The exact mechanisms by which oxidative stress increases blood pressure have not been completely elucidated. There may be several reasons for the discrepancies between clinical and animal studies. In this review, the data obtained in selected clinical and animal studies are discussed, and the hypothesis is put forward that oxidative stress may not be as important in mediating hypertension in females as has been shown previously in male rats. Furthermore, it is likely that differences in genetics, age, length of time with hypertension, endothelial dysfunction, and sex are all factored in to modulate the responses to antioxidants in humans. As such, future clinical trials should be designed and powered to evaluate the effects of oxidative stress on blood pressure separately in men and women.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology|
|State||Published - Aug 2008|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)