Enjoy Your Menopause!

June 22, 2008

Black Women, High Blood Pressure & Menopause

There’s no getting around it.  Race plays a factor in everything we do in life—that includes going through menopause.

According to a number of studies,  menopausal African American women, in particular, are at a higher danger of developing high blood pressure than Caucasian or Asian women.  It isn’t completely understood why African Americans have a genetic prevalence toward hypertension, but African American women are more likely to experience the symptoms of declining estrogen such as night sweats and hot flashes.  The reaction to declining estrogen may be a good explanation as to why menopausal African American women are more likely to develop high blood pressure.

Other studies seem to indicate high blood pressure is linked to menopause based on the dropping estrogen levels influencing the blood vessel linings.  Anything that has a negative impact on the lining of the blood vessels may cause high blood pressure.  Another possible factor is that menopause causes weight gain.  This weight gain can cause more stress on the heart, which makes it work harder.  There is also the fact that menopause causes an increase in depression, which also increases the chances of developing high blood pressure.

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