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Conditions InDepth: Hypertension
- Primary—hypertension without any known cause, most common cause
- Secondary—hypertension with a known or underlying cause
|The Cardiovascular System|
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- Damage to the walls of the blood vessels that make it difficult for blood to flow through
- Build up of plaque (atherosclerosis) or blood clots on blood vessel walls that reduce the area the blood can pass through
- Structural problems with blood vessels—from congenital conditions
- Conditions or medication that make blood vessels tighten when they should not
- Decreased elasticity of blood vessels—common effect of aging
About high blood pressure. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/AboutHighBloodPressure/About-High-Blood-Pressure%5FUCM%5F002050%5FArticle.jsp. Updated January 22, 2013. Accessed February 26, 2014.
Hypertension. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated February 12, 2014. Accessed February 26, 2014.
What is high blood pressure? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hbp. Updated August 2, 2012. Accessed February 26, 2014.
Zieman SJ, Melenovsky V, et al. Mechanisms, pathophysiology, and therapy of arterial stiffness. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2005;25(5):932-943.
12/11/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: He J, Gu D, Chen J, et al. Premature deaths attributable to blood pressure in China: a prospective cohort study. Lancet. 2009;374(9703):1765-72.
- Reviewer: Michael J. Fucci, DO
- Review Date: 09/2013
- Update Date: 00/22/2014