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Women and high blood pressure

Several factors may increase the likelihood of a woman having high blood pressure. A woman is at higher risk if she is:

  • Overweight
  • African-American
  • Past menopause
  • Over 65 -- half of senior women have high blood pressure
  • Taking hormone replacement therapy -- for most women taking estrogen for menopause, blood pressure does not rise, but for a few it does. (The doctor will monitor the blood pressure of a woman taking hormones, particularly in the beginning.)
  • Taking birth control pills -- especially if she is overweight, over 35 years old, has a family history of high blood pressure, smokes, or had high blood pressure during pregnancy.
  • Pregnancy -- some women develop high blood pressure while pregnant and need to be closely monitored until delivery. High blood pressure can pose health risks to both the mother and baby, especially if a condition called preeclampsia develops.


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Review Date: 6/8/2011
Reviewed By: Steven Kang, MD, Division of Cardiac Pacing and Electrophysiology, East Bay Arrhythmia, Cardiovascular Consultants Medical Group, Oakland, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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