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Houston, Texas

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Secondary Conditions--High Blood Pressure

Secondary Conditions Table of Contents

More women with physical disabilities report being told by a medical professional that they have high blood pressure than do non-disabled women.

High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and the greatest risk factor for stroke and heart failure, and it can cause kidney damage. Problems with high blood pressure constitute a major secondary condition for people with disabilities. Although hypertension is found to be high in the general population, it may be even more prevalent in women with disabilities.

  • Women with disabilities commonly face problems with high blood pressure.
    • According to the preliminary findings of a survey on the health issues of women with physical disabilities (n = 386), nearly 1 out of 4 women indicated that they had problems with hypertension.
    • Preliminary findings from another study indicated that more than half (56%) of a sample of women with physical disabilities (n = 443) reported problems with blood pressure.
  • In one analysis of population-based data, hypertension was more frequently reported by women with functional limitations in all age groups than among women without functional limitations.
  • Another investigation of functional limitations of women at midlife revealed that women with substantial limitations were three times more likely to report high blood pressure than those without limitations.
  • The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute provides clinical practice guidelines for the prevention, detection, and treatment of high blood pressure.
  • Research is needed to develop and evaluate prevention and self-management programs for hypertension among women with disabilities.

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