Are the conventional cutoff values adequate to define hypertension in young women?

Blood Press Monit. 2010 Dec;15(6):296-9. doi: 10.1097/MBP.0b013e32833f564c.


Background: Women have lower systolic blood pressure (SBP) levels than men during early adulthood. Diastolic blood pressure (DBP) tends to be just marginally lower in women than men regardless of age.

Objective: Aims of this study were (i) to determine 95th percentile value of SBP, DBP, and mean arterial blood pressure in healthy women, and (ii) to evaluate the effects of basal demographic and anthropometric features on blood pressure.

Methods: Six hundred and fifty-four consecutive participants (18-35 years old) were initially enrolled in the study but among them 54 (8.2%) cases were excluded. Demographic features, relevant personal and family history data about hypertension, smoking habits, and use of medications were interviewed using a questionnaire. Blood pressure, height, weight, and waist circumference of every case were measured.

Results: Of the 600 patients (mean age, 24.6±4.0 years), 124 (20.7%) were currently smokers, 20 (3.3%) had history of hypertension during pregnancy, and 291 (48.5%) had family history of hypertension in women (mean age, 61.0±9.51 years). Reference ranges of 5th and 95th percentile values for SBP were determined as 74 and 115 mmHg, for mean arterial blood pressure as 57 and 85 mmHg, for DBP as 45 and 72 mmHg, respectively.

Conclusion: In conclusion, cutoff values of hypertension in healthy women, which were determined by our study, are lower than the standard cutoff values for definition of hypertension in adults. However, clinical importance of these findings should be investigated in further studies involving larger population with prospective follow-up.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Pressure / physiology*
  • Body Weight
  • Family Health
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Turkey / epidemiology