What causes high blood pressure? New research shows that what causes high blood pressure may be different for men than for women. While high blood pressure is often linked to many possible causes like age, weight, chronic stress, sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy diet, smoking, and more, new data suggests that for women, the biggest cause is genetic, while for men, the biggest risk factors that lead to high blood pressure are lifestyle-based, like diet and exercise.1
In addition to risk differences, new research shows that women and men also have differences in other blood pressure factors, such as vascular health, and even what’s considered to be a healthy blood pressure level. Here’s what you need to know when it comes to women’s health and blood pressure, and how to protect your cardiovascular health.
What is High Blood Pressure?
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is the number one risk factor for cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular events like a heart attack or stroke. It’s estimated that only a third of people in the US with high blood pressure are actively controlling their condition. This makes high blood pressure the most common health problem in the US. Hypertension is one of the “silent killers” — meaning it can progress without symptoms, until a cardiovascular event occurs. Regular blood pressure checkups are essential for screening and early diagnosis.
Blood pressure is how we measure the force blood exerts on our blood vessels. The higher number (systolic blood pressure) measures the force of blood against artery walls during a heartbeat. The second lower number (diastolic) measures the force of blood against artery walls between heart beats.
Blood Pressure Levels For Women
For years, the standard healthy range of blood pressure for both men and women was considered to be around 120 for systolic and 80 for diastolic. However, new research suggests that the healthy blood pressure range for women is actually lower: around 110 for systolic readings. Researchers state that in women, a systolic reading of 120 or higher may signal an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and are recommending providers to lower their blood pressure reference ranges for women for more accurate diagnoses.2
Women’s Health: Blood Vessels and Cardiovascular Disease
New research shows that women’s blood vessels age faster than men’s, putting them at increased risk of hypertension and cardiovascular disease. These findings may help to explain why women often develop different types of heart disease than men, at different times in their lives. Data from this research suggests that women’s vascular function is very different than men’s, and that women with high blood pressure develop the condition earlier in life than men.3
Prioritizing your cardiovascular health and blood pressure is critical to reduce your risk of heart issues.
How To Naturally Support Healthy Blood Pressure
Natural remedies to help control hypertension and blood pressure include an anti-inflammatory diet, healthy stress relief practices like yoga and meditation, and regular exercise. Even if we reduce blood pressure by 5 to 6 points, we can cut the risk of stroke by 40% and heart disease by 15%.
There are natural ingredients that can help support healthy, balanced blood pressure and overall cardiovascular health. While research shows most of these ingredients work to reduce blood pressure by small amounts, taking daily steps to support healthy blood pressure can make a big impact—and when combined with diet and lifestyle changes like cutting out processed foods, we can provide critical support for healthy blood pressure and circulation, and promote our long-term health.
Natural Ingredients and Supplements for Blood Pressure Management
One ingredient for promoting healthy, balanced blood pressure is the powerful enzyme, nattokinase. Derived from a fermented Japanese super-food called natto, this circulation-support enzyme offers support for overall cardiovascular health, including support for balanced blood pressure.4
ecoNugenics Circutol is a powerful, physician-formulated blood pressure support supplement featuring nattokinase, along with other botanicals, functional mushrooms, and nutrients for head-to-toe circulation and cardiovascular support. Reishi mushroom, Chinese salvia, hawthorn berry and other researched natural ingredients add additional benefits for healthy blood pressure, robust circulation, antioxidant activity, and healthy heart function.*
Hypertension- and high blood pressure can be challenging because there are so many different potential factors to control. But with daily lifestyle changes like an anti-inflammatory diet and natural ingredients, you can optimize your blood pressure and cardiovascular health, while providing numerous life-long benefits—safely and naturally.
- Kauko A, Aittokallio J, Vaura F, et al. Sex Differences in Genetic Risk for Hypertension. Hypertension. 2021 Sep;78(4):1153-1155.
- Study: Women’s Blood Vessels Age Faster Than Men's. Cedars Sinai website. Updated January 15, 2020. Accessed Sept 23, 2021.
- Ji H, Niiranen TJ, Rader F, et al. Sex Differences in Blood Pressure Associations With Cardiovascular Outcomes. Circulation. 2021 Feb 16;143(7):761-763.
- Kim JY, Gum SN, Paik JK, et al. Effects of nattokinase on blood pressure: a randomized, controlled trial. Hypertens Res. 2008 Aug;31(8):1583-8.