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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Contraceptives may cause high BP

An Indian-origin researcher has found that long-term exposure to estrogen can lead to higher risk of developing high blood pressure.

Although it is unclear how estrogen causes high BP in females, Michigan State University researchers have found that long-term estrogen exposure generates excessive levels of a compound that leads to stress.

"This is an important study on at least two levels," said P.S. MohanKumar, associate professor of pathobiology and diagnostic investigation in MSU's College of Veterinary Medicine.

"First, it continues to confirm the negative effect that long-term estrogen exposure has for females. Second, it provides a new rationale for how and why this relationship occurs," he added.

Long term exposure to estrogen, which is found in oral contraceptives, can cause high blood pressure. Doctors have traditionally believed the estrogen women consume as oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy pills is good for hearts.

MohanKumar further explained, "because so many women use estrogen-only HRT to combat the effects of menopause, it is imperative that we better understand the risks that chronic exposure has for females and why these effects occur."

The study was reported in the American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology.

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