What Are the Basics of Primary Hypertension and Secondary Hypertension?

Hypertension (HTN or HT), also known as high blood pressure (HBP) or arterial hypertension, is a kind of long-term medical condition in which blood pressure in the arteries is continuously elevated. Hypertension is classified as primary (essential) hypertension and secondary hypertension.

What is primary hypertension?

Primary hypertension is also called essential hypertension. It is the most common form of hypertension. According to the study, over 90% of the cases are primary hypertension.

It should be noticed that primary hypertension is a kind of hypertension that is not caused by disease.

What are the causes of primary hypertension?

Usually, primary hypertension is not caused by diseases but by a complex interaction of genes and some environmental factors. Numerous common genetic variants and some rare genetic variants may cause primary hypertension.

Besides, aging is a common cause for primary hypertension. Its other causes include high salt intake, depression, caffeine consumption, vitamin D deficiency, lack of exercise and obesity.

What is secondary hypertension?

Secondary hypertension or secondary high blood pressure is a kind of hypertension that is caused by another medical condition.

Although secondary hypertension is not as common as primary hypertension, it may lead to serious complications such as heart failure, arteries damage, metabolic syndrome and aneurysm.

What are the causes of secondary hypertension?

The causes of secondary hypertension include:

  • Kidney disease (the most common cause)
  • Cushing’s syndrome
  • Conn’s syndrome
  • Renal artery stenosis
  • Hyperaldosteronism
  • Hyperparathyroidism
  • Pheochromocytoma

Other possible causes include sleep apnea, pregnancy, obesity, excessive drinking of alcohol, excessive eating of liquorice, and taking illegal drugs such as methamphetamine and cocaine.

Keywords: secondary hypertension; primary hypertension

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