Obesity is a common metabolic disorder that has become a widespread epidemic in several countries. Sex and gender disparities in the prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) have been well documented with premenopausal women having a lower incidence of CVD than age-matched men. However, women are more likely than men to suffer from obesity, which can predispose them to a greater risk of CVD. The mechanisms underlying high-fat diet (HFD)- or obesity-induced hypertension are not well defined, although immune system activation and inflammation have been implicated in several studies. Further, the sex of the subject can have a profound influence on the immune response to hypertensive stimuli. Therefore, the purpose of this review is to examine the effects of sex and gender on the role of the immune system in HFD-induced hypertension and vascular dysfunction. LINKED ARTICLES: This article is part of a themed section on The Importance of Sex Differences in Pharmacology Research. To view the other articles in this section visit http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bph.v176.21/issuetoc.
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