28. Primary hypertension. Characteristics and etiological factors

Last updated on May 24, 2019 at 18:57

90-95% of all cases of hypertension are primary and idiopathic. Although we don’t know the exact cause we do know some risk factors.

Genetic factors

We know that some genetic factors are involved in primary hypertension. If one person in a pair of identical twins has primary hypertension the chance for the other twin to have it is just 40%.

Black populations are more prone to primary hypertension than other populations.

Environmental factors

Several factors have shown to increase the risk for primary hypertension, like:

  • Obesity
    • Causes increased sympathetic activity
    • Causes salt and water retention due to hyperinsulinism
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol intake
  • Excessive caffeine intake
  • Diet high in sodium
  • Diet low in potassium and calcium
  • Physical inactivity
  • Psychological stress


Previous page:
27. Hypertension and the adrenal gland

Next page:
29. Consequences of hypertension

2 thoughts on “28. Primary hypertension. Characteristics and etiological factors”

  1. Hi,

    I think you should mention those few genetic factors that is written in the lectures. Like chr.10 with the genes for ACE, anginotensinogen, and alpha 2 resepors. Plus increased Na/H antiport in smooth muscle cells.

Leave a Reply

Only the "Comment" field must be filled in. It is not compulsory to fill out your name; you can remain anonymous. Do not fill out e-mail or website; if you do, your comment will not be published.