Hypertension (HTN)

2021-02-23 12:00 AM

Hypertension is an elevated blood pressure leading to end-organ damage, or a sustained diastolic pressure >90 mm Hg and/or systolic pressure >140 mm Hg.

Hypertension (HTN)

Hypertension is an elevated blood pressure leading to end-organ damage, or a sustained diastolic pressure >90 mm Hg and/or systolic pressure >140 mm Hg.

Hypertension is very common, affecting 25% of the U.S. population. African Americans tend to be more seriously affected than Caucasians, and the risk increases with age. Approximately 95% of cases of hypertension are idiopathic (essential); the remainder is due to secondary hypertension related to renal disease, pheochromocytoma, or other disease processes.

Mild to moderate elevations in blood pressure cause end-organ damage by damaging arterioles with hyaline arteriolosclerosis. Late manifestations of hypertension include concentric left ventricular hypertrophy; congestive heart failure; accelerated atherosclerosis; myocardial infarction; aneurysm formation, rupture, and dissection; intracerebral hemorrhage; and chronic renal failure.

Malignant (accelerated) hypertension accounts for 5% of the cases and is characterized by markedly elevated pressures (e.g., systolic pressure >180 mm Hg and/or diastolic >120 mm Hg), which can rapidly cause end-organ damage. Funduscopic examination may demonstrate retinal haemorrhages, exudates, and papilledema. Malignant hypertension is a medical emergency; if untreated, most patients will die within 2 years from renal failure, intracerebral hemorrhage, or chronic heart failure.