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Heart Health

Understanding secondary hypertension

May 1, 2022

Sometimes high blood pressure results from an underlying condition. Should you be checked for these problems?

High blood pressure (hypertension) usually results from a combination of factors, including age, genetics, obesity, a high-salt diet, and lack of exercise. But up to 10% of people with high blood pressure have secondary hypertension, which is a byproduct of another condition or disease.

Most of the time, secondary hypertension is caused by problems with the adrenal glands or the arteries supplying the kidneys (see illustration). Diagnosing and treating the underlying condition often improves or even resolves a person’s elevated blood pressure. But how can you tell if you might have one of these uncommon issues?

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