[Hypertension in women].

Revista medica de Chile

PubMedID: 23732498

Tagle R, Tagle V R, Acevedo M, Valdés G. [Hypertension in women]. Rev Med Chil. 2013;141(2):237-47.
The present review examines the types of hypertension that women may suffer throughout life, their physiopathological characteristics and management. In early life, the currently used low-dose oral contraceptives seldom cause hypertension. Pregnancy provokes preeclampsia, its main medical complication, secondary to inadequate transformation of the spiral arteries and the subsequent multisystem endothelial damage caused by deportation of placental factors and microparticles. Hypertension in preeclampsia is an epiphenomenon which needs to be controlled at levels that reduce maternal risk without impairing placental perfusion. The hemodynamic changes of pregnancy may unmask a hypertensive phenotype, may exacerbate a chronic hypertension, or may complicate hypertension secondary to lupus, renovascular lesions, and pheochromocytoma. On the other hand a primary aldosteronism may benefit from the effect of progesterone and present as a postpartum hypertension. A hypertensive pregnancy, especially preeclampsia, represents a risk for cardiac, vascular and renal disease in later life. Menopause may mimic a pheochromocytoma, and is associated to endothelial dysfunction and salt-sensitivity. Among women, non-pharmacological treatment should be forcefully advocated, except for sodium restriction during pregnancy. The blockade of the renin-angiotensin system should be avoided in women at risk of pregnancy; betablockers could be used with precautions during pregnancy; diuretics, ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor antagonists should not be used during breast feeding. Collateral effects of antihypertensives, such as hyponatremia, cough and edema are more common in women. Thus, hypertension in women should be managed according to the different life stages.