Menopause May Increase Salt-related Hypertension
The results of a new study suggest that hormonal changes followingmenopause may trigger salt-sensitive hypertension in womenwho were unaffected by salt before menopause. In addition, theresearchers found that, in a group of younger women who experienceda hysterectomy with ovary removal, the number of patientswith salt sensitivity doubled within 4 months of their surgeries.
The study findings were presented at the American Heart Association'sannual high blood pressure (BP) conference. Researchersstudied 40 women with an average age of 47 years with normal BPand no history of diabetes. All of these women underwent hysterectomieswith ovary removal, which induced menopause. Prior totheir surgeries, only 9 women were salt-sensitive; 4 months aftersurgery, that number rose to 21.
According to the researchers, some women naturally developsalt sensitivity after menopause and run the risk of developing highBP. Even people with normal BP who are salt-sensitive have agreater risk of developing high BP, and possibly cardiovascular disease,they said.
The study raises important questions, the answers to whichcould affect how hypertension is treated in postmenopausalwomen, including the effectiveness of diuretics and the importanceof monitoring of salt intake, the researchers said.