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Hypertens Res. 2012 Feb;35(2):148-52. doi: 10.1038/hr.2011.190. Epub 2011 Dec 1.

Hypertension in women.

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  • 1Endocrine Hypertension Research Centre and Clinical Centre of Research Excellence in Cardiovascular Disease and Metabolic Disorders, University of Queensland School of Medicine, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.


Hypertension is an important modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular (CV) morbidity and mortality, and a highly prevalent condition in both men and women. However, the prevalence of hypertension is predicted to increase more among women than men. Combined oral contraceptives (COCs) can induce hypertension in a small group of women and, increase CV risk especially among those with hypertension. Both COC-related increased CV risk and blood pressure (BP) returns to pretreatment levels by 3 months of its discontinuation. The effects of menopause and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) on BP are controversial, and COCs and HRT containing the new generation progestin drospirenone are preferred in women with established hypertension. Despite the high incidence of cancer in women, CV disease remains the major cause of death in women and comparable benefit of antihypertensive treatment have been demonstrated in both women and men.

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