18 August 2007

Hypertension - What causes it?

What causes Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

Two main types of hypertension are recognized. By far the most common is Essential Hypertension, sometimes called Primary Hypertension. This is hypertension in which there is no identifiable cause. Ninety five percent of all persons living with hypertension have essential hypertension. Although researchers have been unable to pinpoint its specific causes, several risk factors definitely increase an individual's chance of developing essential hypertension. Some of these risk factors are controllable. They include:

  • Obesity
  • High Salt Intake
  • Smoking
  • Lack of Exercise
  • Emotional and/or Physical Stress

Risk factors that cannot be controlled are:

  • Gender--Males are at a higher risk for hypertension at earlier ages than females.
  • Age--The risk goes up for older women; more than half of women over the age of 60 have high blood pressure.
  • Race--Hypertension and its complications are more common among people of African ancestry than among members of other ethnic groups. Not only does hypertension typically begin earlier among African-Americans; its complications are more frequent, and it leads to death more often.
  • Family History of Hypertension--Risk is higher in people whose parents also have high blood pressure.

The other major type of hypertension, termed Secondary Hypertension, has an identifiable cause. It is due to disease. For example, kidney (renal) hypertension is due to high blood pressure within the arteries that supply blood to the kidneys. The underlying cause is kidney disease or conditions like atherosclerosis, which narrow or block the renal arteries. Secondary hypertension may also result from hormonal imbalances, particularly in the kidney's adrenal glands. Cushing's syndrome and pheochromocytoma (pronounced: “fee–oh–chrome–oh–sigh–toe–ma”), which is a tumor of the adrenal glands, are two of the conditions that can disrupt adrenal hormones and lead to secondary hypertension. Other causes of secondary hypertension include pregnancy, thyroid disease, and the use of some medications such as oral contraceptives and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs).


At 30 October 2008 at 10:52 , Blogger Prof. Bobby Davro said...

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