The association between hypertension and ischaemic heart disease was explored in a retrospective analysis of 50 severely hypertensive premenopausal women (presenting diatolic pressure greater than or equal to 120 mmHg) under 45 years of age who were seen over a seven-year period. Twenty-two per cent of these patients had angina pectoris, and 38 per cent had Minnesota code 4-1 or 5-1 changes on the resting electrocardiogram. The contribution of other risk factors, including smoking habits, was assessed: 72 per cent of the patients smoked; significantly less smoking was found among two groups of age-matched women with less severe hypertension [diastolic pressures of 90 to 104 mmHg (n=50) and 105 to 119 mmHg (n=50)]. In these latter groups, only one patient had angina pectoris and none had 4-1 or 5-1 changes on the electrocardiogram.
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