The Sexual Dimorphism of High Blood Presssure

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There is a sexual dimorphism in blood pressure men tend to have higher blood pressures than women with functional ovaries, whereas ovariectomy or menopavse tends tp abolish the sexual dimorphism and cause women to develop a “male” pattern of blood pressure. Synthetic estrogens and progestins, found in oral contraceptives, tend to elevate blood pressure whereas naturally occurring estrogens, used in postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy lower it of have no effect. Women are more likely than men to be aware of their hypertension to be treated with antihypertensive drugs, and to have their blood pressure controlled. Antihypertensive therapy induces similar blood pressure reductions in men and women. However men experience larger reductions in total cardiovascular risk with successful treatment of high blood pressure because their absolute risk of coronary event at baseline is so much higher. Special considerations that can dictate antihypertensive treatment choices for women include increase vuinerability to the adverse effects of some drugs. Including angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor-induced cough, calcium channel blocker-induced edema, and minoxidil-induced hirsutism, Beta-adrenergic blockers tend to be less effective in women than in men, and diuretics are particular useful in women because they protect against hip fracture pregnancy or if pregnancy is planned becaused of the risk of fetal developmental abnormalities.

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