Risk factors for high blood pressure in women attending menopause clinics in Italy

Fabio Parazzini, P. Di Donato, N. A. Giulini, A. Bacchi Modena, G. Cicchetti, G. Comitini, G. Gentile, P. Cristiani, A. Careccia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: We analysed risk factors for high blood pressure (BP) among women around menopause. Methods: Eligible women were consecutively attending first-level outpatient menopause clinics in Italy for general counseling or treatment of menopausal symptoms. During the visit BP was measured three times. The mean of second and third of the three diastolic BP values for women was >90 mm of mercury and/or reporting any current pharmacological treatment for high BP were considered hypertensive. Out of 45,204 women who entered the study with information on blood pressure, 12,150 had high BP. Results: The odds ratios (OR) of high BP increased with age: in comparison with women aged 12 versus 26. In comparison with women reporting no regular physical activity, the multivariate OR of high BP was 0.93 (95% CI, 0.87-0.99) for women reporting regular activity. In comparison with peri-menopausal women, post-menopausal women were at increased risk (OR 1.14, 95% CI, 1.03-1.24) and the risk tended to increase with age at menopause. Current use of hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) was associated with a lower risk of high BP (OR 0.88, 95% CI, 0.84-0.94). Conclusions: This large cross-sectional study suggests that, after taking into account the effect of age, post-menopausal women are at greater risk of high BP, but current HRT use slightly lowers the risk. Other determinants of high BP were low level of education, overweight, and low level of physical activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-88
Number of pages6
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 10 2006


  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Menopause
  • Risk factors
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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