Definition: High blood pressure; transitory or sustained elevation of systemic arterial blood pressure to a level likely to induce cardiovascular damage or other adverse consequences. Hypertension has been arbitrarily defined as a systolic blood pressure above 140 mmHg or a diastolic blood pressure above 90 mmHg. Consequences of uncontrolled hypertension include retinal vascular damage (Keith-Wagener-Barker changes), cerebrovascular disease and stroke, left ventricular hypertrophy and failure, myocardial infarction, dissecting aneurysm, and renovascular disease. An underlying disorder ( renal disease, Cushing syndrome, pheochromocytoma) is identified in fewer than 10% of all cases of hypertension. The remainder, traditionally labeled “essential” hypertension, probably arise from a variety of disturbances in normal pressure-regulating mechanisms (which involve baroreceptors, autonomic influences on the rate and force of cardiac contraction and vascular tone, renal retention of salt and water, formation of angiotensin II under the influence of renin and angiotensin-converting enzyme, and other factors known and unknown), and most are probably genetically conditioned.
Synonym(s): hyperpiesis, hyperpiesia
[hyper- + L. tensio, tension]
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