Treatment

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.

Prevalence

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.

According to the preliminary findings of a survey on the health issues of 386 women with physical disabilities, 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 443 women with physical disabilities 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.