Basil N Okeahialam

University of Jos, Nigeria

Title: Arterial Hypertension in Women. Menopause as Risk Window


Objectives: Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) exert a heavy toll on health of women, mainly due to hypertension said to cluster around the period of transition to menopause. This makes this period a good window to target for prevention and control. We therefore sought to determine if this period really heralds arterial hypertension and CVD in women in our environment.

Study design: We secondarily analysed our population data on CVD risk factors in free living rural residents.

Main outcome variables: The data considered were blood pressure, anthropometric and biochemical variables in women stratified based on menstruation status.

Results: There were 488 females, with 218 still menstruating. They were younger (p = .000), had lower systolic and diastolic blood pressures (p = .000), lower anthropometric indices attaining significance only with waist circumference (p = .001) and lower total cholesterol (p = .001). Controlling for age, statistically significant differences remained for systolic and diastolic blood pressures, body mass index, waist and hip circumferences, and total cholesterol.

Conclusion: The menopause transition comes with a worse CVD profile. Blood pressure rises and so are the anthropometric variables and some biochemical parameters that fuel CVD. This could be ascribed to age which is higher with those post-menopausal. Controlling for age in this cohort still showed that transiting from pre- to post-menopause still came with CVD burden. Clinicians should take the opportunity presented by menopause transition to screen for CVD risk factors and initiate either preventive or control measures to mitigate morbi-mortality consequences.


Professor Basil Okeahialam, M.B;B.S (Ibadan), FWACP, FACP is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Jos, Nigeria and Consultant Physician & Cardiologist to the Jos University teaching Hospital. He has been teaching on the rank of Professor since 2002 at the age of 43. He has continued with research and publication mentoring many young doctors in the process. He is an examiner of the West African College of Physicians at the membership and the fellowship levels as well as the Cardiology sub-specialty head in which capacity he serves as the Cardiology Chief examiner. He has been external examiner in Medicine to the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons and the University of Health Sciences Lahore, Pakistan. He currently has above 170 publications with a h-index of 14