Secondary hypertension is also known as secondary high blood pressure. When a person’s high blood pressure is secondary rather than primary, it means that it occurs due to another medical condition or disease. Because the other medical condition is the primary health concern, the hypertension is secondary.
Generally speaking, secondary hypertension occurs as the result of a medical condition affects the kidneys, heart, endocrine system, or arteries. Secondary hypertension can occur as a complication of diabetes or could occur as a pregnancy complication. Sleep apnea could also result in secondary hypertension. Other conditions that could commonly result in secondary hypertension include thyroid problems, aortic issues, and even taking certain medications or supplements. People that are obese or who chronically abuse alcohol could also suffer from secondary hypertension.
High blood pressure in general is defined as having a systolic blood pressure that reads at 140 milligrams of mercury or higher and a diastolic blood pressure that reads at 90 milligrams of mercury or higher (140/90 and above).
However, there is a bit more to secondary hypertension than primary hypertension. Secondary hypertension may occur all of a sudden in adulthood with no prior history or symptoms of high blood pressure. The person who suffers from this condition may also have no family history of high blood pressure. High blood pressure that does not reduce when treated with blood pressure medications may also be a sign of secondary hypertension.
Unlike primary hypertension (commonly called high blood pressure), which has no specific cause, secondary hypertension is caused by a medical condition. These conditions include:
The treatment for secondary hypertension depends on the medical condition that is causing it. It is important to treat that condition in order to reduce high blood pressure. Lifestyle changes like dietary changes and increased exercise may also help. Certain types of prescription diuretics or beta-blockers may be useful in lowering the blood pressure as well. Arterial blockages or tumors that might cause secondary hypertension may need to be dealt with surgically. Diabetes can be controlled through diet, insulin, and other treatments to help reduce the complications that it can cause, including this condition. A two-pronged approach of dealing directly with the high blood pressure and its underlying causes is often the approach that is most effective in dealing with secondary hypertension.
The best strategy for preventing secondary hypertension includes making changes or modifications that contribute to a healthy lifestyle. These include: