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Can J Cardiol. 2014 May;30(5):553-9. doi: 10.1016/j.cjca.2014.02.014. Epub 2014 Feb 26.

Cardiovascular risk in women: focus on hypertension.

Author information

  • 1University of Toronto, Cardiac Prevention Centre and Women's Cardiovascular Health, St Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Electronic address: abramsonb@smh.ca.
  • 2University of Toronto, Cardiac Prevention Centre and Women's Cardiovascular Health, St Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Abstract

Hypertension is a major concern in women, contributing to the risk for morbidity and mortality and the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD), heart attack, and stroke. A woman's risk for the development of hypertension increases with age. Although it also affects younger women, hypertension is prevalent in approximately 60% of women >65 years of age. In addition to age, there are specific risk factors and lifestyle contributors for the development of hypertension in women, including obesity, ethnicity, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease. Risk reduction strategies need to be used to help reduce hypertension; maintaining a healthy body weight through diet and exercise, reduced sodium intake, and lower alcohol intake are a few of the approaches for hypertension risk reduction in women. There are several proposed mechanisms for the development of hypertension that are unique to women and pertain to the aging-related elevated risk for hypertension resulting from falling estrogen levels during menopause. Oral contraceptives, pre-eclampsia and polycystic ovary syndrome are special considerations concerning the development and progression of hypertension in women. There are significant awareness issues and care gaps in the treatment of hypertension in women. Therefore, these problems must be faced and efforts need to be taken to resolve the issues surrounding the treatment and control of hypertension in women.

Copyright © 2014 Canadian Cardiovascular Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID:
24786446
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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