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Blood pressure 

Blood pressure
Blood pressure

Robert Fagard

, Giuseppe Mancia

, and Renata Cifkova


February 23, 2017: This chapter has been re-evaluated and remains up-to-date. No changes have been necessary.

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date: 06 May 2021

Prevention of hypertension can help prevent cardiovascular disease and renal complications. Obesity, a high sodium and low potassium intake, physical inactivity, and high alcohol consumption all contribute to the development of hypertension, and randomized controlled trials have shown that appropriate lifestyle modifications are able to reduce blood pressure and/or prevent the development of hypertension. The major complications of hypertension are stroke, coronary heart disease, heart failure, peripheral artery disease, and chronic kidney disease. Multiple randomized controlled trials and their meta-analyses have shown that treatment with antihypertensive drugs reduces the incidence of fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular events. In addition, meta-analyses have shown that there are no clinically relevant differences in the effects of the five major drug classes on outcome, so all of them are considered suitable for the initiation and maintenance of antihypertensive therapy. Nevertheless, the therapeutic approach in the elderly, women, and patients with diabetes, cerebrovascular, cardiac, or renal disease deserves special attention.

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