Hypertension (arterial hypertension) is one of the most common medical problems.

High blood pressure in the body vessels is called hypertension (from the Greek word hyper – “super” and the Latin word tendere – “stretch”) or hypertension (from the Greek words hyper and tonus – “hypertension”). Thus, the words “hypertension” and “hypertension” are synonyms. Arterial hypertension (hypertension) is understood as a persistent increase in BP of more than 140/90 mmHg, recorded at different times in several measurements. And it is not necessary to increase both BP figures simultaneously. To diagnose arterial hypertension, a persistent increase of one of the BP components is sufficient: either systolic or diastolic.

In 90-95% of cases arterial hypertension is an independent disease – hypertension. In 5-10% of cases arterial hypertension is a consequence of various diseases and conditions – it is so-called secondary or symptomatic arterial hypertension. Only when all possible causes of secondary arterial hypertension are excluded, it is said about hypertension.



The cause of hypertension is not known until now. Some people have a hereditary predisposition to hypertension. In addition to adverse heredity, there are other factors of arterial hypertension development. These include excessive consumption of table salt, obesity, stress.

The above factors are more conducive to the development of hypertension in persons with unfavorable heredity.

The main causes of secondary arterial hypertension are bilateral (less often – unilateral) tissue lesions. Diseases of a number of endocrine glands, such as the pituitary gland, adrenal glands and thyroid, may also lead to the development of secondary hypertension.

Arterial hypertension is dangerous precisely because of complications, which can often be fatal. If it did not cause such complications, then arterial hypertension itself would not cause such interest. After all, of all the unpleasant sensations that are characteristic of high blood pressure, we can only note a headache.

The presence of arterial hypertension causes a number of changes in the body of its owner. As a rule, these changes develop gradually. With a stable course of arterial hypertension, the severity and reversibility of these changes are directly related to the duration of the disease, as well as the level of persistent BP increase. First of all, long existing (without appropriate treatment) arterial hypertension leads to changes in the structure and properties of the arterial wall throughout the body.


As a result of a number of transformations, the vascular wall loses its inherent elasticity, becoming dense and brittle, contributing to hemorrhage. The arteries of the kidneys, brain, ocular fundus and extremities suffer most from the persistent increase in blood pressure. Arterial hypertension accelerates the processes of premature aging of the arterial wall (atherosclerosis) throughout the body, being a risk factor for the development and progression of coronary heart disease (CHD).

Thus, arterial hypertension is accompanied by various complications and related diseases. Among them:

  • Atherosclerosis. Arterial hypertension may be a risk factor for atherosclerosis – a disease in which the blood has a high level of low and very low density lipoproteins (cholesterol), as well as the formation of atheromatous plaques on the walls of blood vessels. And this, in turn, contributes to further development of arterial hypertension.
  • Diseases of the heart. Arterial hypertension increases the risk of myocardial infarction, as it is a risk factor for atherosclerosis, and also contributes to the narrowing of the coronary arteries that feed blood to the heart muscle.
  • Diseases by the CNS. These include such conditions as stroke, chronic cerebral blood circulation disorder, etc.
  • Diseases of the kidneys. Arterial hypertension is one of the main causes of kidney disease, including renal failure, which is associated with poor blood circulation in them.
  • Visual impairment. Arterial hypertension is accompanied by poor blood circulation in the retina, as well as the optic nerve (the nerve also receives food from very small arterioles).
  • Diabetes mellitus. Arterial hypertension is a risk factor for many complications of diabetes, such as diabetic foot, retinopathy (pathology of the retina), etc.
  • Preeclampsia is a condition typical for pregnant women with gestose (toxicosis). Arterial hypertension may be a sign of this serious complication.
  • Metabolic syndrome. It is a group of conditions associated with obesity, increased blood pressure, blood sugar levels, risk of myocardial infarction and stroke.
  • Erectile dysfunction.

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