Novel Mechanisms Responsible for Postmenopausal Hypertension

Jane F. Reckelhoff, Lourdes A. Fortepiani

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

177 Scopus citations


Blood pressure increases in many women after menopause. Hypertension is one of the major risk factors for cardiovascular disease. However, the mechanisms responsible for the postmenopausal increase in blood pressure are yet to be elucidated. Various humoral systems have been proposed to play a role in postmenopausal hypertension, such as changes in estrogen/androgen ratios, increases in endothelin and oxidative stress, and activation of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS). In addition, obesity, type II diabetes, and activation of the sympathetic nervous system are common in postmenopausal women and may also play important roles. However, progress in elucidating the mechanisms responsible for postmenopausal hypertension has been hampered by the lack of a suitable animal model. The aging female spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) exhibits many of the characteristics found in postmenopausal women. In this review, some of the possible mechanisms that could play a role in postmenopausal hypertension are discussed, as well as the characteristics of the aged female SHR as a model to study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)918-923
Number of pages6
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Endothelin
  • Obesity
  • Oxidative stress
  • Renin-angiotensin system
  • Sympathetic nervous system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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