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February 18, 2010 at 8:44 PMComments: 2 Faves: 0

Identifying Causes of Secondary Hypertension

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author

Approximately ten percent of all diagnosed cases of hypertension (high blood pressure) are caused by the presence of a primary disease.  It is possible for this primary disease to cause other complications within the body. When a primary disease is cause for hypertension, it is known as secondary hypertension.  When the primary disease is treated, typically secondary hypertension is treated in conjunction, returning blood pressure levels back into the normal range.

Secondary Hypertension: Unchangeable Contributing Factors

There are many factors that contribute to the development of hypertension as a secondary disease.  The following factors that contribute to the development of hypertension as a secondary condition can not be changed.

  • Age:  Age is strongly associated with hypertension development, as the arteries naturally become stiffer with age, particularly systolic blood pressure.
  • Heredity:  There is a strong association between the development of hypertension and family history of the condition.
  • Race:  Typically, African Americans are at a higher risk for the development of high blood pressure than Caucasians.
  • Sex:  Men are usually at a higher risk for the development of high blood pressure, but this varies between ethnic groups.
  • Socioeconomic Status: It is strongly correlated that individuals of lower socioeconomic status and education are more likely to develop high blood pressure.

Secondary Hypertension:  Changeable Contributing Factors

Secondary hypertension is associated with a variety of risk factors.  The following factors contribute to the development of hypertension as a secondary condition can be changed.

  • Alcohol:  The excessive use of alcohol has been shown to contribute to hypertension development.
  • Obesity:  The presence of excess weight on your body increases the overall rates for development of hypertension in addition to many other medical conditions.  There is a strong association between increased body weight and increased blood pressure.
  • Physical Inactivity: A lifestyle that does not incorporate exercise increases the risk for the development of both obesity and high blood pressure.
  • Prescription Medications: The use of certain prescription medications can be cause for the development of hypertension.
  • Sodium:  Certain individuals have sensitivity to salt that can contribute to the development of hypertension.

Primary Conditions that cause Secondary Hypertension

There are many primary diseases or conditions that can cause the development of secondary hypertension as a side effect.  The following is not a comprehensive list, but is a list of the most commonly associated primary conditions that are cause for the development of hypertension as a secondary condition.

  • Aldosteronism
  • Coarticulation of the aorta
  • Cushing's syndrome
  • Diabetic nephropathy
  • Glomerular disease
  • Hydronephrosis
  • Hyperparathyroidism
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Obesity
  • Pheochromocytoma
  • Polycystic kidney disease
  • Preeclampsia
  • Renovascular hypertension
  • Sleep apnea

Hypertension is a treatable condition.  Hypertension as a secondary condition is also treatable.  It is recommended that you first seek information and education about hypertension, including risk factors, causes, and treatment options.  Secondly, consult your physician to determine the best treatment or combination of treatments for hypertension and any primary conditions.


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  • I have to say this is the best site so far that I have come across, related to hypertension. There is so much information here ive bookmarked for future reference. Thanks

  • Katie,
    It is great that you are following our articles on hypertension. Notice that hypertension can come on fast and be the silent killer because it has no overt symptoms. So get your BP checked regularly. They have them in drug stores or get yourself a BP meter that is automatic. This will give you a fairly accurate measure that your Dr. can deal with.

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