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Types of Hypertension

There are other types of hypertension that fall under the categories of primary or secondary hypertension.

types of hypertension

Resistant Hypertension

Resistant hypertension is a type of high blood pressure that is challenging to manage and requires multiple medications. When blood pressure remains above the treatment target despite taking three different types of blood pressure-lowering medications, including a diuretic, it is considered resistant hypertension. About 10 percent of people with hypertension have resistant hypertension. Doctors often investigate secondary causes in people with resistant hypertension when the underlying cause is not immediately apparent. Most people with resistant hypertension can be successfully treated with multiple medications or by identifying a secondary cause.

Malignant Hypertension

Malignant hypertension refers to high blood pressure that causes damage to organs, and it is an emergency condition. Malignant hypertension is the most severe type and is characterized by high blood pressure levels typically above 180 mm Hg systolic or 120-130 mm Hg diastolic, accompanied by damage to multiple organs. The incidence of malignant hypertension is low, about one to two cases in 100,000, but rates may be higher among black populations. Malignant hypertension is a medical emergency and requires prompt treatment. Seek immediate medical attention if you suspect that you may be experiencing a hypertensive emergency.

Isolated Systolic

Hypertension Isolated systolic hypertension occurs when systolic blood pressure is above 140 mm Hg, and diastolic blood pressure is under 90 mm Hg. It is the most common type of hypertension in older adults, affecting around 15 percent of people over 60. Age-related arterial stiffness is believed to be the cause. However, younger individuals can also develop isolated systolic hypertension, with 2 to 8 percent of younger people experiencing it, according to a 2016 study. It is the most prevalent form of hypertension in youth aged 17 to 27, according to a United Kingdom survey. A large study from 2015 found that younger and middle-aged individuals with isolated systolic hypertension had a higher risk of heart attack and stroke compared to those with normal blood pressure levels.


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