Hypertension accounts for 1 in 5 deaths among American women, posing a greater burden for women than men, and is among their most important risk factors for death and development of cardiovascular and other diseases. Hypertension affects women in all phases of life, with specific characteristics relating to risk factors and management for primary prevention of hypertension in teenage and young adult women; hypertension in pregnancy; hypertension during use of oral contraceptives and assisted reproductive technologies, lactation, menopause, or hormone replacement; hypertension in elderly women; and issues of race and ethnicity. All are detailed in this review, as is information relative to women in clinical trials of hypertension and medication issues. The overarching message is that effective treatment and control of hypertension improves cardiovascular outcomes. But many knowledge gaps persist, including the contribution of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy to cardiovascular disease risk, the role of hormone replacement, blood pressure targets for elderly women, and so on.
Keywords: hypertension; pregnancy-related hypertension; prevention; race and ethnicity; women.
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