Hypertension, a controllable and preventable disease (and more commonly known as high blood pressure), affects 1 in 4 American adults. Causes are unknown in 90 percent of all cases. However, the most common cause of secondary hypertension in women is oral contraceptive use, according to a report in the November/December issue of General Dentistry, the Academy of General Dentistrys (AGD) clinical, peer-reviewed journal.
Up to five percent of women taking birth control pills that contain a high dose of estrogen (above 35 micrograms of ethinyl estradiol) may experience oral contraceptive-related high blood pressure, says Mary A. Aubertin, DMD, author of the report, who cites studies reported by the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP) and in the journal, Circulation. High blood pressure may lead to heart disease and stroke. Discontinuing the use of birth control pills or switching to a lower estrogen dose can reduce blood pressure.
"These findings are important for women and will help dentists better understand how patients, including those on birth control pills, may be at risk to develop hypertension," says Dr. Aubertin.
Jennifer Starkey | EurekAlert!
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