The role of the gut microbiome in sex differences in arterial pressure

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There has been intense interest in the role of the gut microbiome in human health and a broad range of diseases in recent years. In the context of cardiovascular disease, gut dysbiosis (defined as a change in the gut microbiome and the gut-epithelial barrier) has been linked to disturbances in blood pressure (BP) regulation. These findings build upon our understanding of the complex pathophysiology of essential hypertension. There are clear sex differences in the epidemiology of hypertension, with distinct trends in BP across the life-course in men and women. To date, a role for the gut microbiome in contributing to the sex differences in BP is yet to be clearly established. The purpose of this review is to summarise the current literature regarding how the gut microbiome differs between men and women and to investigate whether sex-determined differences in the gut microbiome influence the response to factors such as diet, obesity and inflammation. Finally, we will explore evidence for the possible interaction between sex-specific factors, including sex hormones and pregnancy, with the gut in the context of hypertension pathophysiology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number22
JournalBiology of Sex Differences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2019


  • Arterial stiffness
  • Blood pressure
  • Gender
  • Gut microbiome
  • Gut microbiota
  • Hypertension
  • Preeclampsia
  • Sex

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