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Systemic arterial hypertension 

Systemic arterial hypertension
Chapter:
Systemic arterial hypertension
Author(s):

Dr Kaleab Asrress

and Bryan Williams

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199594764.003.0017
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date: 22 August 2019

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the world. Individually, ischaemic heart disease (IHD) is the leading, and cerebrovascular disease the second leading, cause of mortality in all regions of the world apart from sub-Saharan Africa. The impact of hypertension is significant, with an estimated 47% of all IHD and 54% of all stroke being attributable to high blood pressure (BP). It should be noted, however, that there has been a major decline in cardiovascular disease mortality in Western Europe, the USA, and Japan over the past 40 years. There are multiple factors underlying these favourable trends but more widespread and improved control of hypertension has certainly played a major role. Several landmark studies over the past 50 years have been instrumental in this process, particularly in exploring the underlying epidemiology, defining individual risk factors, and assessing treatment strategies. Selecting a short list from this immense body of work has not been an easy task, with many important papers not making the final selection. What we can say is that those presented here are truly landmark in every sense of the word, and we hope to convince the reader of the reasons for this.

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