Essential hypertension

Leonard F. Arnolda, Ida J. Llewellyn-Smith, Jane B. Minson

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


    Hypertension is no more than an elevated arterial pressure and essential hypertension the term applied to those in whom elevated arterial pressure cannot be ascribed to a specific cause. The view that essential hypertension is a specific disease has been abandoned in favour of the proposition that blood pressure is a quantitative trait that is continuously distributed in the population in much the same way that height is.[1] Thus, there is no natural point of separation of people into dichotomous groups with high or low blood pressure.[1] Life insurance tables describing the link between arterial pressure and mortality show a continuous relationship that extends well into the normal range[2] and the same is true for stroke, which is very strongly correlated with the level of blood pressure.[3] A pragmatic solution is to classify as hypertensive those in whom treatment has been shown to be beneficial in reducing morbidity and mortality.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)43-47
    Number of pages5
    JournalCurrent Therapeutics
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1997


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