The present study was conducted to characterize gender differences in age-related variation of nocturnal elevation of blood pressure (NEBP), as well as of diurnal and nocturnal systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP). Untreated subjects (N = 1689) underwent 24 h ambulatory blood pressure monitoring. Frequency of NEBP was similar in elderly men and women, but it was lower in women below 30 years of age as compared to men of similar age (0% vs. 20% respectively, p < 0.01). In men, the frequency of NEBP increased by 4.2 ± 0.7% per decade, whereas women showed a significantly higher progression rate (7.3 ± 1.0%, p < 0.04). Diurnal and nocturnal SBP increased with age by 15% and 25% in females (p < 0.001) and by 3% and 8% in males (p < 0.02). Gender difference was significant (p < 0.001). Diurnal and nocturnal DBP were lower in females of all age groups (p < 0.001). The results indicate a significantly lower prevalence of NEBP among young women in comparison to young men that was not detected when aged men and women were compared, suggesting a higher progression rate of NEBP with advancing age in women. © 2009 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
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