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Previous studies have investigated carotid artery intima-media thickness (IMT) and blood pressure and found a direct correlation between the two. It is known that adult females have better cardiovascular health than males until a certain stage of life, yet limited research has examined gender differences in vascular function. Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate vascular structure and function, blood pressure, and blood glucose/cholesterol levels in relation to gender differences in young healthy adults. On three separate days, 44 adults (26.30 ±11.9yrs; 24M, 20F) completed a carotid IMT ultrasound, a flow-mediated dilation (FMD), a fasted glucose and cholesterol test, a 24hr ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, a VO2max test, and a body composition measurement. Females had lower systolic blood pressure, lower diastolic blood pressure, lower LDL/HDL ratios, lower body mass index, a higher HDL count, and lower plasma glucose levels than males (p < 0.05 for all), all of which suggest better cardiovascular health. However, we found no gender differences in vascular health measures, IMT and FMD. Our results suggest that while young adult females have better cardiovascular health than males, endothelial function may not yet be affected in the young adult years.
International Journal of Exercise Science
Cromwell CM, Aichele KR, Oakman JE, Neal MP, Lenzo JM, Perez AN, Bye NL, Santaniello EL, Hill JA, Evans RC, Thiele KA, Chavis LN, Getty AK, Wisdo TR, Feairheller DL. Carotid Artery IMT, Blood Pressure, and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Males and Females. International Journal of Exercise Science. 9(4),482-490. 2016