Hypertension and hypertensive heart disease in African women
Hypertension and hypertensive heart disease is one of the main contributors to a growing burden of non-communicable forms of cardiovascular disease around the globe.
The recently published global burden of disease series showed a 33% increase of hypertensive disorders in pregnancy in the past two decades with long-term consequences.
Africans, particularly younger African women, appear to be bearing the brunt of this increasing public health problem. Hypertensive heart disease is particularly problematic in pregnancy and is an important contributor to maternal case-fatality.
European physicians increasingly need to attend to patients from African decent and need to know about unique aspects of disease presentation and pharmacological as well as non-pharmacological care.
Reductions in salt consumption, as well as timely detection and treatment of hypertension and hypertensive heart disease remain a priority for effective primary and secondary prevention of CVD (particularly stroke and CHF) in African women.
This article reviews the pattern, potential causes and consequences and treatment of hypertension and hypertensive heart disease in African women, identifying the key challenges for effective primary and secondary prevention in this regard.