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Secondary Hypertension

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Secondary hypertension affects about 5-10% of all cases of high blood pressure. In the following article, we shall look into the details of secondary high blood pressure.


Secondary hypertension is high blood pressure caused by other underlying medical condition. The primary hypertension is a condition where there is no apparent or known cause for the condition to occur. In case of secondary hypertension, the cause is known and understood.

Normal blood pressure is about 120/80, but when it rises above the normal value, it considered as high blood pressure. Such as:

  • Prehypertension – 120/80 to 139/89
  • Stage I High Blood Pressure – 140/90 to 159/99
  • Stage II High Blood Pressure – over 160/100

When repeated checks show the blood pressure as over 140/90, it indicates hypertension. Secondary hypertension can be treated and kept under control, if the underlying condition is managed and treated.


Secondary hypertension has quite a few symptoms. These include:

*Excessive facial ad hair, weight gain and ‘Moon face’ or ‘round face’ in case the hypertension is due to Cushing’s syndrome


Secondary hypertension occurs due to renal or hormonal disturbances. Some of the common causes of secondary high blood pressure include:

Kidney Problems such as:

Hormonal causes such as:

Medications such as:

Other conditions like:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Genetic diseases
  • Pregnancy


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Diagnosis is based on blood pressure measurement on three consecutive days. Other tests that help determine the cause of secondary hypertension include:


Treatment for secondary hypertension is related to the cause of the hypertension. The underlying condition is addressed to lower the blood pressure. Diuretics and other blood pressure medications will be recommended to help control the condition.


In order to control the rising blood pressure, one should take certain self-care steps. These include:

  • Take your medications on time. Never stop or take medications without your doctor’s advice.
  • Follow a low cholesterol, low sugar and no red meat diet.
  • Eat more of fruits, vegetables, whole grain products as well as poultry and fish.
  • A low salt diet is ideal for patients with high blood pressure.
  • Shed excessive weight.
  • Walk and exercise regularly.
  • Reduce caffeine and alcohol intake.
  • Try yoga or other meditation exercises that help reduce stress and calms the mind.

Secondary hypertension is usually due to conditions that cannot be avoided. Regular health check ups will keep the conditions in check and avoid secondary hypertension from developing. Follow your doctors instructions to keep your blood pressure in control.

Written by: Saptakee sengupta
Date last updated: March 24, 2015

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