Hypertension is a common disorder which affects over 40 million individuals in the United States alone. Systemic (idiopathic) hypertension is particularly prevalent in elderly women who seem to tolerate this affliction better than their male counterparts. Women with hypertension should be cautioned about the effects of estrogen-containing oral contraceptives which may cause a further elevation in systemic blood pressure. However, postmenopausal estrogen supplementation does not produce adverse effects on blood pressure and, in fact, may offer cardiovascular protection. Renovascular hypertension, particularly as a result of fibromuscular hyperplasia, is more prevalent in women than men. For women, as for men, tobacco abuse and advanced age are associated with an increased prevalence of atherosclerotic renal artery stenosis.