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Symptoms of Essential Hypertension

Monday, Dec 10 2007

  

Many patients with essential hypertension report that they can determine when their blood pressure is elevated. Often, their perception of experiencing high blood pressure is accompanied by vague complaints of headache, fatigue, dizziness, sweating, a pounding heart, or nose-bleeds (Berkow, 1982; Hoffman et al., 1973).

The available data, however, refute these claims (Baumann and Leventhal, 1985; Brondolo et al.,1999; Kottke et al., 1979; Van Reek et al., 1982). No consistent relations have been observed among any particular symptom and the actual experience of high blood pressure, and when there appears to be a relation, it occurs for patients with both high and low blood pressure.

Thus, in most cases, essential hypertension is best considered an asymptomatic disorder. In cases of chronic essential hypertension that have already resulted in target organ damage, some symptoms like headaches and visual disturbances do commonly occur, but are more likely the result of the damaged tissue than of the hypertension (Sandok and Whisnant, 1983).

Larkin, K. T., and Zayfert, C.
Published with assistance from the foundation established in memory of Amasa Stone Mather of the Class of 1907, Yale College.

References
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  • Achmon, J., Granek, M., Golomb, M., and Hart, J. (1989). Behavioral treatment of essential hypertension: A comparison between cognitive therapy and biofeedback of heart rate. Psychosomatic Medicine, 51, 152 - 164.
  • Agras, W. S., Horne, M., and Taylor, C. B. (1982). Expectation and the blood-pressure-lowering effects of relaxation. Psychosomatic Medicine, 44, 389 - 395.
  • Agras, W. S., Taylor, C. B., Kraemer, H. C., Southam, M. A., and Schneider, J. A. (1987). Relaxation training for essential hypertension at the worksite: II. The poorly controlled hypertensive. Psychosomatic Medicine, 49, 264 - 273.
  • Aivazyan, T. A., Zaitsev, V. P., Khramelashvili, V. V., Golenov, E. V., and Kichkin, V. I. (1988). Psychophysiological interrelations and reactivity characteristics in hypertensives. Health Psychology, 7, 137 - 144.
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  • Davidyan, A. (1989). Emotional factors in essential hypertension. Psychosomatic Medicine, 55, 505 - 517.
  • Alfredsson, L., Davidyan, A., Fransson, E., de Faire, U., Hallqvist, J., Knutsson, A., et al. (2002). Job strain and major risk factors for coronary heart disease among employed males and females in a Swedish study on work, lipids, and fibrinogen. Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, 28, 238 - 248.
Revision date: March 21, 2010
Last revised: by Dr. Shirak Vaishnian, M.D.

Provided by Armina Hypertension Association

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