Medical Dictionary: Essential hypertension


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Essential hypertension: Another name for Hypertension.
Essential hypertension (condition): High blood pressure
Essential hypertension (condition): Hypertension is the condition of having high blood pressure. It is very common and affects around 50 million Americans of which about 30% are not yet diagnosed (NHLBI). Hypertension is an under-diagnosed condition because it causes damage to the body with no symptoms or only mild symptoms. It has been called a "silent killer" for this reason.

Correct diagnosis of the cause of high blood pressure is important. Most cases of chronic hypertension are "primary hypertension" but a small percentage are "secondary hypertension" where the rise in blood pressure is caused by another underlying condition. Hypertension during pregnancy is another common special case; it is called gestational hypertension, preeclampsia or eclampsia depending on its severity.

Essential hypertension: Blood pressure measures the force of blood against the walls of your blood vessels. Blood pressure that remains high over time is called hypertension. Extra fluid in your body increases the amount of fluid in your blood vessels and makes your blood pressure higher. Narrow or clogged blood vessels also raise blood pressure. 1

More information on medical condition: Hypertension:



Footnotes:
1. excerpt from High Blood Pressure and Kidney Disease: NIDDK

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