Stroke risk for individuals with rising high blood pressure is nearly twice as high in white women than in white men, new research shows.

Although more severe hypertension was seen in black men and women, the study revealed no differences in stroke risk between black male and female participants.

Researchers studied nearly 25,000 white and black men and women in the US and found that for every integral jump in blood pressure, the risk of stroke across people with progressive hypertension was about twice as high in white women than white men. 

The findings point to the need for more sex-specific data in future studies, the lead researcher said. “There are hidden sex differences in many disease processes that we really don’t even know about,” noted Tracy Madsen, associate professor of emergency medicine at Alpert Medical School of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

Researchers set out to determine if sex and racial differences were a factor in hypertension severity. Women accounted for more than half of participants, while more than 40% of total participants were black. The average age of participants was 66 for men and 64 for women. 

The study was published in Wednesday’s edition of Hypertension.