Hypertension and Pharmacological Therapy in Women

  • Elisa Lodi
  • Alberto Carollo
  • Valentina Martinotti
  • Maria Grazia Modena
Review Article


Cardiovascular (CV) disease is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality for women all over the world. The role and weight of risk factors in relation to gender are not completely clarified as well as their treatment. Pathophysiology of hypertension in woman presents different aspects in relation to phase of life, with an impact on treatment. The only certainties that we have nowadays regarding hypertension therapy in women are really few and may be summarized in: how to treat or, better, what not to use in hypertension in pregnancy and how to treat acute severe hypertension in pregnancy. We have some certainties also on treatment of hypertension associated to some women’s comorbidities. Considering guidelines and analyzing what happens in the real world, we report in this review that women have similar major CV risk factors of men, although a minor CV global risk. However, there are some data that suggest that hypertension and diabetes are more important risk factors in women than in men. Blood pressure reduction and benefit by treatment appear similar in women and men, suggesting that we should aim for similar target of blood pressure, although the lower global risk profile should imply different target. Theoretically, recommended drugs are similar in women and men, but in women we must take in account CV risk profile, comorbidity, side effects, and reproductive health. Finally, registries and observational studies show that fewer women reach the target values of blood pressure and that women receive more frequently prescription of “other” classes of drugs than those recommended by guidelines, even after normalization by age and comorbidities.


Hypertension Gender medicine Women Anti-hypertensive drugs 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Modena and Reggio EmiliaModenaItaly

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