By Mary P. McGowan;Jo McGowan-Chopra

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Examples of ACE inhibitors include: • • • • • • • Benazepril hydrochloride (Lotensin) Captopril (Capoten) Enalapril maleate (Vasotec) Fosinopril sodium (Monopril) Lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril) Moexipril (Univasc) Quinapril hydrochloride (Accupril) WHAT CAUSES IT? AND WHY SHOULD I WORRY? • 17 • Ramipril (Altace) • Trandolapril (Mavik) Or you may be on an AII blocker (angiotensin II receptor blocker). Examples include: • Losartan potassium (Cozaar) • Valsartan (Diovan) • Irbesartan (Avapro) Your doctor has chosen these medications because he knows that the renin-angiotensin system is involved in the development of high blood pressure.

It appears that birth control pill–induced hypertension is caused at least in part by an increase in renin. Remember, an elevated renin level causes an increase in angiotensin II, which is a very powerful vasoconstrictor (meaning it can cause the arteries to clamp down, which increases the pressure within the arteries). Also, women on the Pill may have an expanded blood volume (that is, more blood in the bloodstream). This expanded blood volume, which is caused by the estrogen component of the Pill, increases the blood pressure within the arteries.

As far as I know there is no such tool for stroke. 3, the Score Sheet takes into account age, sex, smoking status, diabetes, and blood pressure in determining risk. In answering the cholesterol section, if you only know your total cholesterol, use the lower chart in step 2; if you know your low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-cholesterol or bad cholesterol), use the upper chart. Because knowing the LDLcholesterol is a bit more predictive than just the total cholesterol, go to that column in figuring your points for other risk factors.

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