“While you may have had normal blood pressure most of your life, your chances of developing high blood pressure increase considerably after menopause”.1

Umbrella

What may the High Blood Pressure and Women Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Essential Hypertension
  • High Blood Pressure (HBP)
  • Hypertension
  • Idiopathic Hypertension
  • Primary Hypertension
  • Women

Blood Pressure

What is blood pressure (BP)?

DotS the definition of BP may vary. In High Blood Pressure: High Blood Pressure Symptoms and Causes – What Is Blood Pressure? the (United States) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s definition is:

“Blood pressure is the pressure of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. Arteries carry blood from your heart to other parts of your body.

Your blood pressure normally rises and falls throughout the day”.2

High Blood Pressure

What is high blood pressure (HBP) or hypertension?

DotS the definition of HBP may vary. The American Heart Association’s definition is:

“High blood pressure, also referred to as hypertension, is when your blood pressure, the force of blood flowing through your blood vessels, is consistently too high”.3

Risk

Who is at risk of HBP?

In High Blood Pressure: Causes and Risk Factors – Sex the (United States) National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute note:

“Men are more likely than women to develop high blood pressure throughout middle age. But in older adults, women are more likely than men to develop high blood pressure”.4

Women

In women, how common is HBP?

In High Blood Pressure and Women the (United States) Go Red for Women explain:

“A common misconception is that high blood pressure (HBP or hypertension) rarely affects women. However, nearly half of all adults with high blood pressure are women. In fact, women that are just 20 pounds or more overweight, have a family history of HBP or have reached menopause are known to increase a woman’s risk”.5

Menopause

Is there an association between menopause and HBP?

In High Blood Pressure and Women: Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure and Menopause Go Red for Women also note:

High Blood Pressure and Women“While you may have had normal blood pressure most of your life, your chances of developing high blood pressure increase considerably after menopause.

Heart disease risk rises for everyone as they age, but for women symptoms can become more evident after the onset of menopause”.6

In Menopause and High Blood Pressure: What’s the Connection? Is There A Connection Between Menopause and High Blood Pressure? the (United States) Mayo Clinic note:

“Blood pressure generally goes up after menopause. Some health care providers think changing hormones related to menopause may cause blood pressure to rise. Others think an increase in body mass index (BMI) during menopause may be to blame.

Changes in hormones during menopause can lead to weight gain. The changes also can make blood pressure more sensitive to salt in the diet. When this happens, blood pressure can go up. Some types of hormone therapy for menopause also may lead to higher blood pressure”.7

Death

Is there an association between women and deaths from HBP?

In High Blood Pressure and Women: Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure and Menopause Go Red for Women also note:

“Women represent almost 52% of deaths from high blood pressure”.8

Control and Prevent

What can help control and prevent HBP?

In Menopause and High Blood Pressure: What’s the Connection? Is There A Connection Between Menopause and High Blood Pressure? the Mayo Clinic encourage women:

“To control your blood pressure both before and after menopause, focus on a healthy lifestyle:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Eat heart-healthy foods. Choose whole grains, fruits and vegetables
  • Limit salt and processed foods
  • Exercise most days of the week
  • Manage stress
  • Limit or avoid alcohol
  • If you smoke, stop

If necessary, your health care team may suggest medicines to help lower blood pressure”.9

DASH Diet

What is the DASH Diet?

In DASH Diet: Healthy Eating To Lower Your Blood Pressure the Mayo Clinic elaborate on:

“DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.

The DASH diet is a healthy-eating plan designed to help prevent or treat high blood pressure, also called hypertension. It also may help lower cholesterol linked to heart disease, called low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.

High blood pressure and high LDL cholesterol levels are two major risk factors for heart disease and stroke”.10

Health Care Provider

What if I think I have HBP?

If you think you have HBP, it may be in your best interest to choose to talk to your health care provider about this. In High Blood Pressure – Symptoms and Treatment: Symptoms of High Blood Pressure the British Heart Foundation explain:

“Many people with high blood pressure feel fine. But even if you feel fine, you should still have your blood pressure checked regularly. If you’re a healthy adult over 40, it’s recommended that you get it checked at least once every five years. But if you’re at increased risk of high blood pressure, you should have it checked more often, ideally once a year”.11

Health Topics A-Z

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Links

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Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted?

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Sources

  1. High Blood Pressure and Women: Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure and Menopause. Go Red for Women https://www.goredforwomen.org/en/know-your-risk/high-blood-pressure-and-women Accessed: 20 April 2024
  2. High Blood Pressure: High Blood Pressure Symptoms and Causes – What Is Blood Pressure? Last Reviewed: 18 May 2021. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/about.htm Accessed: 20 April 2024
  3. High Blood Pressure: The Facts About High Blood Pressure. American Heart Association https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure Accessed: 20 April 2024
  4. High Blood Pressure: Causes and Risk Factors – Sex. Last Updated: 24 March 2022. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/high-blood-pressure/causes Accessed: 20 April 2024
  5. High Blood Pressure and Women. Go Red for Women https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/why-high-blood-pressure-is-a-silent-killer/high-blood-pressure-and-women Accessed: 20 April 2024
  6. High Blood Pressure and Women: Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure and Menopause. Go Red for Women https://www.goredforwomen.org/en/know-your-risk/high-blood-pressure-and-women Accessed: 20 April 2024
  7. Menopause and High Blood Pressure: What’s the Connection? Is There A Connection Between Menopause and High Blood Pressure? 11 July 2023. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/expert-answers/menopause-and-high-blood-pressure/faq-20058406 Accessed: 20 April 2024
  8. High Blood Pressure and Women: Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure and Menopause. Go Red for Women https://www.goredforwomen.org/en/know-your-risk/high-blood-pressure-and-women Accessed: 20 April 2024
  9. Menopause and High Blood Pressure: What’s the Connection? Is There A Connection Between Menopause and High Blood Pressure? 11 July 2023. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/expert-answers/menopause-and-high-blood-pressure/faq-20058406 Accessed: 20 April 2024
  10. DASH Diet: Healthy Eating To Lower Your Blood Pressure. 25 May 2023. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/dash-diet/art-20048456 Accessed: 20 April 2024
  11. High Blood Pressure – Symptoms and Treatment: Symptoms of High Blood Pressure. British Heart Foundation https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/risk-factors/high-blood-pressure/symptoms-and-treatment Accessed: 20 April 2024
Topic Last Updated: 05 July 2024 – Topic Last Reviewed: 20 April 2024

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