Public Health England’s 10 year strategy for cardiovascular disease (CVD) is based on the ABC of CVD, where A stands for atrial fibrillation, B for blood pressure and C for cholesterol.1
Hypertension is a risk factor for a range of conditions, including myocardial infarction, stroke, vascular dementia, chronic kidney disease (CKD) and heart failure so it is important that it is detected and treated effectively in order to reduce CVD risk and improve outcomes.
The diagnosis and management of essential hypertension is described in guidance from the National Institute of Care and Health Excellence (NICE).2 Essential hypertension refers to the presence of high blood pressure where secondary causes such as renal disease, endocrine disorders or genetic conditions have been excluded as causes.
Around 95% of all cases of hypertension are essential hypertension, meaning that 5% of cases will be what is known as secondary hypertension.3 The more unusual or resistant a case of hypertension, the more important it is to consider the underlying cause.
In this article, we go beyond straightforward essential hypertension to consider the broader interpretation and management of raised blood pressure readings in specific situations.
By the end of this article the reader should be able to:
Recognise the significance of hypertension in the young