With an estimated 50 million Americans diagnosed with hypertension, it is the most common medical condition in the United States. Patients with hypertension and no identifiable cause are said to have essential or primary hypertension, which is the type of hypertension for 90% of hypertensive patients. A number of factors have been implicated in the development of hypertension including dietary salt intake, obesity, alcohol intake, occupation, and stress. Patients with hypertension have an increased risk of developing a morbid cardiovascular event and will likely benefit from medical therapy. Their evaluation should be directed at identifying correctable forms of hypertension, the presence of target organ damage, and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Risk factors of an adverse prognosis in hypertension include male sex, smoking, diabetes mellitus, obesity, hypercholesterolemia, and African-American race. This chapter focuses on target blood pressure guidelines, lifestyle modifications, and the medical management of hypertension.
KeywordsCommon Adverse Effect Loop Diuretic Calcium Channel Antagonist Resistant Hypertension Target Organ Damage
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