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High blood pressure, or hypertension, in women can occur at any point in a woman’s life, and accounts for 1 in 5 deaths among American women.
Hypertension describes the force of blood flowing through your blood vessels as being consistently too high. This causes gradual but dangerous damage to the vessels.
The high pressure reduces the elasticity of arterial walls, which decreases healthy blood flow and oxygen to the cells. Over time, this decreased blood flow can cause damage in other parts of the body, including the organs.
Although hypertension can occur at any time in a woman’s life, there are risk factors that increase the chances of developing hypertension, including:
Left untreated, hypertension can lead to other serious conditions including:
The reason high blood pressure is called “the silent killer” is the lack of symptoms. In some cases of early-stage hypertension, patients may experience headaches, chest discomfort, dizziness or nosebleeds. More often, however, high blood pressure has no obvious symptoms. That is why it is important to have your blood pressure checked regularly by your health care provider, especially if you have any risk factors or other health conditions.
The Women’s Heart Program at Norton Heart and Vascular Institute offers the latest diagnostic and therapeutic advances for treating patients with high blood pressure. Board-certified specialists diagnose and treat both routine and rare causes of high blood pressure. The specialists in the women’s heart program bring particular focus to cardiology during changes in a woman’s life, including heart disorders during pregnancy.
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