Should we redefine hypertension?

Research paper by Thomas D. Giles

Indexed on: 01 Nov '06Published on: 01 Nov '06Published in: Current Cardiology Reports


In the past, hypertension has been defined as a systemic arterial blood pressure chronically exceeding certain levels. However, it is now apparent that there is no blood pressure threshold that separates those with increased cardiovascular risk from those with no or low risk. Hypertension is a complex disease that eventually leads to an increase in blood pressure above optimal values for an individual. Moreover, levels of blood pressure, a physical force, need to be evaluated in the context of other cardiovascular risk factors. This de.nition of hypertension will permit physicians to treat patients with the goal of reducing global risk for myocardial infarction, stroke, and chronic kidney disease.