Women with hypertension face a number of health-related complications while keeping their high blood pressure under control, according to a new study.
A recent data from the American Heart Association Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics - 2008 Update revealed that high blood pressure kills significantly more women than men and is two to three times more common in women who take oral contraceptives than in women who don't.
Hypertension is also a critical factor in increasing the cardiovascular risk among women.
Previous studies have shown that about 60 percent of hypertensive women are treated, and among those treated, only about a third had their blood pressure controlled at optimum levels.
"Thus, inadequate control of high blood pressure continues to be the most important, and potentially treatable, cause of cardiovascular disease and stroke in women," said John E. Hall of University of Mississippi Medical Centre in Jackson, Miss.
Hypertension also poses numerous risks in pregnancy.
Several pregnancy-related studies have shown that hypertension is the most common medical disorder of pregnancy, complicating one in 10 pregnancies.
A prospective study of 822 women with chronic hypertension by researchers in London revealed that about 48 percent of the women delivered small birth weight babies, while 51 percent of them delivered preterm.
In a study of 28,888 non-hypertensive American women, age 45 or older, researchers found that the risk of hypertension decreased with a higher intake of low-fat dietary calcium and dietary vitamin D. The researchers tracked the intake of dairy products, calcium and vitamin D based on a 131-item food frequency questionnaire and conducted annual follow-up over a 10-year period.
During the follow up 8,710 cases of hypertension were identified.
American Heart Association has recently taken out a Journal edition dedicated to women's unique hypertension issues.