What is secondary hypertension?

Certain health conditions can bring about hypertension.

Secondary hypertension, or secondary highblood pressure, is highblood pressure that is caused by another disease. Secondary hypertension, which is different than the usual or primary hypertension, affects about 10 percent of the population. There are certain conditions that can cause secondary hypertension, including but not limited to, chonic kidney disease, sleep apnea, thyroid problems, pregnancy, use of birth control pills, obesity, and alcohol additiction.

The other 90 percent of cases  are primary hypertension. In primary hypertension, the cause is usually unknown but can be attributed to  factors like genetics, gender (males have a higher tendency to develop hypertension), age, and race.

In most cases, both primary and secondary hypertension do not have specific symptoms. However, if you have any of these signs, according to the Mayo Clinic, it may indicate that you have secondary hypertention:

  • Resistant hypertension that does not respond to hypertension medication
  • Very high blood pressure — systolic blood pressure (top number) over 180 mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure (bottom number) over 120 mm Hg
  • A blood pressure medication or medications that previously controlled your blood pressure no longer work
  • Sudden-onset high blood pressure before age 30 or after age 55
  • No family history of high blood pressure
  • No obesity

Often, when the underlying condition is effectively treated, the secondary hypertension may decrease and your blood pressure may return to normal. However, lifestyle changes such as eating healthy and increasing physical activity can help lower your blood pressure, which can reduce the risk of further serious complications.

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