High Blood Pressure (cont.)
John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.
In this Article
The metabolic syndrome and obesity
Genetic factors play a role in the constellation of findings that make up the "metabolic syndrome." Individuals with the metabolic syndrome have insulin resistance with a resulting tendency to have type 2 diabetes mellitus (noninsulin-dependent diabetes).
Obesity, especially associated with a marked increase in abdominal girth, leads to high blood sugar (hyperglycemia), elevated blood lipids (fats), vascular inflammation, endothelial dysfunction (abnormal reactivity of the blood vessels), and hypertension, which all lead to premature atherosclerotic vascular disease. The American Obesity Association states the risk of developing hypertension is five to six times greater in obese Americans, age 20 to 45, compared to nonobese individuals of the same age. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported in 2005 that waist size was a better predictor of a person's blood pressure than body mass index (BMI). Men should strive for a waist size of 35 inches or under and women 33 inches or under. The epidemic of obesity in the United States contributes to hypertension in children, adolescents, and adults.
What are the causes of secondary high blood pressure?
As mentioned previously, 5% of people with hypertension have what is called secondary hypertension. This means that the hypertension in these individuals is secondary to (caused by) a specific disorder of a particular organ or blood vessel, such as the kidney, adrenal gland, or aortic artery.
Three types of secondary high blood pressure (hypertension) are discussed below: renal (kidney) hypertension, adrenal gland tumors, and coarctation of the aorta.
Reviewed by Jay W. Marks, MD on 4/11/2012
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