Primary vs. Secondary Hypertension

Transcript

Lt Col Reynolds
If your health care provider suspects that you have hypertension, they may suggest additional tests to determine if it’s primary or secondary hypertension. Your provider will also take into account your lifestyle, medical history, family history, and other symptoms.

Maj West
Most people with high blood pressure have primary, or essential, hypertension. Primary hypertension can be caused by a number of different things, such as genetic predisposition, lifestyle, and diet. Your provider may ask you questions about heart disease in your family, how often you exercise, and what kind of foods you eat to determine both the cause and the treatment if you have primary hypertension.

Lt Col Reynolds
Secondary hypertension is much less common. It results from an underlying health issue, which means there are probably other symptoms. Identifying and treating the underlying cause of secondary hypertension is very important. If your provider suspects that your hypertension may actually be secondary hypertension, additional tests may be ordered that can help identify the underlying cause.

Maj West
Some people may experience resistant hypertension, which is diagnosed when a person cannot control their blood pressure despite the use of a diuretic and at least two other blood pressure medicines. If you have resistant hypertension, it could be primary or secondary hypertension. In addition to prescribing blood pressure medicines, your provider may order additional tests to determine any underlying conditions that might be causing your resistant hypertension.