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Why High blood pressure in women more dangerous than in men —Experts

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Millions of Nigerians with high blood pressure don’t know they have the condition. The “silent killer” raises the likelihood of a heart attack, heart failure, and stroke when it’s not caught early enough or adequately treated.

The stakes might be even higher for women, who often don’t realise they’re at risk.

It’s not well understood how high blood pressure, or hypertension, progresses in women compared to men, but new research suggests hypertension affects women differently. Its severity and occurrence also differ.

Research from the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai found that blood pressure starts rising earlier and advances faster in women, suggesting that there are key differences in the progression of hypertension in women compared to that in men.

According to the study, high blood pressure could be even more serious for young women than young men because women’s blood vessels age faster than men’s.

This suggests that a 30-year-old woman with hypertension, for example, is probably more likely to develop some blood pressure-related cardiovascular problems at different points in life than her male counterpart. So, it is critical that women pay closer attention to their blood pressure.

Professor Yomi Okunlola, a kidney expert at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex, Ile-Ife, in a reaction, said high blood pressure could be even more serious for young women than young men, especially women that are predisposed to kidney disease.

“They can have hypertension in pregnancy; they might have big babies; their babies may be aborted; and they could even have kidney failure. That is why hypertension in women, especially those with a pre-existing kidney disease, could be very terrible, and of course, it can be worse in pregnancy.”

Professor Okunlola added that hormonal fluctuations, particularly during menopause, can also influence a woman’s blood pressure.

“Women benefit from the protective effects of oestrogen before menopause, but after menopause, the protection may no longer be here. Also, menopausal women may experience weight gain and metabolic changes, increasing their risk of developing hypertension,” he declared.

With increasing age, females’ advantage of protection against hypertension is lost, and the development of hypertension accelerates when compared to males.

Things that can increase the risk of getting high blood pressure include being overweight, eating too much salt, not eating enough fruit and vegetables, lack of exercise, excessive intake of alcohol or coffee, family history of high blood pressure, smoking, and excessive stress.

Professor Okunlola declared that women who have high blood pressure during pregnancy are more likely to have high blood pressure later in life.

Dr Ogunbode, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, said although hypertension is common with increasing age in both males and females, pregnancy can increase the risk of hypertension in women.

“In a few cases, such an increase in blood pressure can be dangerous to the woman and the baby. So pregnancy, the same thing that every couple looks forward to, now brings a lot of danger. That is why antenatal care is very important for women in pregnancy; the blood pressure will be monitored and appropriate steps taken to ensure it is not elevated and to cause harm to the woman and the unborn baby,” he added.

Pregnancy poses specific challenges in managing hypertension for women. Conditions such as gestational hypertension, preeclampsia, and eclampsia can arise during pregnancy, affecting both the mother and the unborn child.

Dr Ogunbode recommended regular exercise, reduced salt intake, adequate sleep, increased intake of fruits and leafy vegetables, limiting alcohol use, less red meat, and reducing salt intake to prevent blood pressure from worsening in women.

According to the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), around one in three women globally has hypertension, and elevated blood pressure has been named the most important risk factor for death in women across the world.

Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the inside lining of the arteries. High blood pressure, or hypertension, occurs when that force increases and stays higher than normal for a period of time. It doesn’t always cause symptoms.

In fact, it’s sometimes referred to as a “silent condition” because most people with high blood pressure have no symptoms at all. However, it can damage the blood vessels, heart, brain, and other organs.

Often, symptoms don’t appear at all until someone has had high blood pressure for years and the condition has become severe, but even people with severe high blood pressure might have no symptoms at all.

However, hypertension may cause a variety of vague symptoms in young and middle-aged women, including sleep disturbances, palpitations, dizziness, fluid retention, extreme tiredness and loss of energy, headaches, blurred vision, pain that radiates to the jaws, left arm, and shoulder blades, and “the bra feels too tight”. In fact, some are often taken for “stress” or “menopause-related”.

By and large, there are no definite gender-specific differences in the risk of hypertension.

Specific to women are pregnancy-induced hypertension, menopause-induced hypertension, and oral contraceptive-induced hypertension.

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that blood pressure be checked regularly to avoid the risk of heart disease, stroke, and brain issues. It is a misunderstanding that women are immune to high blood pressure.

There are many affordable and effective blood pressure machines that women can use to keep tabs on their blood pressure and ensure that it is within a healthy range without waiting to get to the hospital.

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Business

BREAKING: Tinubu Appoints Ayodeji Gbeleyi as BPE DG

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President Tinubu
– Ayodeji Gbeleyi appointed as Director-General of Bureau of Public Enterprises
– Renowned financial expert and award-winning chartered accountant
– Over 30 years of experience in diverse sectors

President Bola Tinubu has appointed Ayodeji Ariyo Gbeleyi as the Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE).

According to the President’s spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, Gbeleyi is expected to bring his vast experience and competence to bear in this role.

Gbeleyi is a fellow of both the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria.

He has also attended executive programmes at the prestigious London Business School, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and Lagos Business School.

With over 30 years of post-qualification experience in diverse sectors, Gbeleyi is well-equipped to strengthen the agency as the national resource centre for capacity building and sustenance of reforms.

The President expects him to promote a competitive private sector-driven economy and ensure social accountability and efficient deployment of public resources.

“The new Director-General is expected to bring his vast experience and competence to bear in this role,” said Ajuri Ngelale. “He will advance effective corporate governance and fiduciary discipline in the public and private sectors.”

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Opinion

Love Knows No Age: Breaking Down the Taboo of Younger Men Dating Older Women in Nigeria

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As I explore Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage, I’m struck by the harmful biases that exist.

One example is the stigma against older women dating younger men – a double standard that restricts women’s choices and reinforces harmful gender stereotypes.

In Nigeria, a woman’s value is often tied to her age, with younger women being prized for their beauty and fertility.

what about older women who desire love and companionship? Why are they shamed for their relationships, forced to hide their love due to societal pressure?

The double standard is clear. Older men marrying younger women is widely accepted, even celebrated, while older women in relationships with younger men face judgment and discrimination.

This issue affects men too, who are trapped by societal norms, forced to conform to traditional gender roles and expectations.

It’s time to challenge these outdated norms and embrace love in all its forms by promoting gender equality and inclusivity.

Let’s look to inspiring examples of older women who have defied societal norms and found love with younger men. Women like Gabrielle Union, who has spoken publicly about her relationship with her husband, Dwyane, who is several years younger than her or women like Viola Davis, who has embraced her love for her husband, Julius Tennon, despite their significant age difference.

These women are trailblazers, paving the way for a new generation of Nigerians who refuse to be bound by societal norms.

They show us that love knows no age, no gender, and no boundaries. It’s time for us to follow their lead and create a society that truly celebrates love in all its forms.

Research has shown that relationships with significant age gaps can be just as fulfilling and long-lasting as those with smaller age gaps. In fact, some studies suggest that older women in relationships with younger men may experience increased happiness and satisfaction due to the younger partner’s energy and enthusiasm.

By letting go of societal constraints and embracing our true desires, we can experience increased self-esteem, confidence, and overall life satisfaction.

we can create a society where everyone can love freely, without fear of judgment or rejection.

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