Urgent warning to women – why you need to find out your blood pressure NOW | The Sun

ALL women should know their own blood pressure to prevent deadly diseases, doctors have warned.

Cardiologists from the European Society of Cardiology suggest it could be just a few years before the threshold for normal blood pressure is lowered for women.

Professor Angela Maas, director of the Women's Cardiac Health Programme, Radboud University Medical Centre, the Netherlands, said: "Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in women.

"The risk for cardiovascular disease increases at a lower blood pressure level in women compared to men.

"My message to all women is to take your blood pressure seriously, know your values and convince your doctor that if it is too high then you need treatment.

"Don't underestimate the long-term effects of high blood pressure."

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High blood pressure is also known as hypertension.

The disorder puts a strain on your blood vessels, heart and other organs.

If left untreated it can increase your risk of serious issues such as strokes and heart attacks, according to the NHS.

Prof Angela said: "Despite its importance, we know that hypertension is more often underestimated and not, or insufficiently, treated in women compared to men.

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"One of the reasons may be that below the age of 50, hypertension is more prevalent in men.

"This reverses in the years after menopause so that after the age of 65, hypertension is more common in women than men."

The experts suggest it is a misconception that high blood pressure does not cause symptoms.

Instead, they say, symptoms are more pronounced in women but may be mistaken for menopause, anxiety or stress.


According to the heart experts, hypertension in midlife is more harmful in women than in similarly aged men, and is a stronger risk factor for cognitive decline and dementia.

Meanwhile, the probability of stroke increases at a lower blood pressure level in women than in men.

High blood pressure also raises the risk for heart failure in women by three-fold, compared with two-fold in men.

Prof Angela said: "Hypertension is currently defined as a systolic blood pressure of at least 140 mmHg and/or diastolic blood pressure of 90 mmHg or higher.

"But discussions are under way about whether normal blood pressure values should be lower in women compared to men.

"More research is needed before there is any change in treatment guidelines but I expect that within five years the threshold for normal blood pressure will be lower in women than men."

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Certain life events, such as having migraines from their teenage years, predispose women to developing high blood pressure.

Other factors are having two or more miscarriages, hypertension during pregnancy and preeclampsia.

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