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High Blood Pressure and Women

woman arm measuring blood pressure

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.

While high blood pressure isn't directly related to gender, throughout a woman’s life, health issues like pregnancy, pregnancy prevention (birth control) and menopause can increase the risk of developing high blood pressure.

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

High Blood Pressure and Heart Disease in Women

HBP is a condition that makes the heart work harder than normal. And left untreated, it scars and damages your arteries and can lead to heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, eye damage, heart failure and fatty buildups in the arteries, called atherosclerosis.
nurse taking young woman's blood pressure reading in doctor's office
nurse checks pregnant woman's blood pressure

Pregnancy Can Elevate the Risk of HBP in Women

Some women who have never had high blood pressure develop it while they are pregnant.

Preeclampsia is usually characterized by the onset of high blood pressure that is lasting and can lead to various complications.

Learn how it affects pregnancies in the U.S and what you can do.

Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure and Menopause

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.

mature woman portrait outdoors

How to Measure Blood Pressure at Home

The American Heart Association recommends home monitoring for all people with high blood pressure to help the healthcare provider determine whether treatments are working.

Home monitoring (self-measured blood pressure) is not a substitute for regular visits to your health care professional but can be very useful in managing high blood pressure.

Monitoring your blood pressure at home infographic
doctor explains to patient

ACE inhibitors or ARBs and Pregnancy

Women who are taking ACE inhibitors or ARBs for high blood pressure should not become pregnant while on this class of drugs. If you’re taking an ACE inhibitor or an ARB and think you might be pregnant, see your doctor immediately for assessment and advice.

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure (also referred to as HBP, or hypertension) is when your blood pressure, the force of blood flowing through your blood vessels, is consistently too high. Get the facts about HBP, learn about the different types of hypertension, and find out how you can manage this condition:


High blood pressure is the leading cause of stroke and the most significant controllable risk factor for stroke. Many scientists attribute our current decline in stroke-related deaths to the successful treatment of high blood pressure. Read on to learn more about the relationship between HBP and stroke.

Your blood pressure shouldn’t feel like a puzzle.

Knowledge is power. Get the tools to tame your high blood pressure.
woman taking blood pressure at work