Epidemiology of blood pressure and predictors of hypertension.
Hypertension is a clinical disease with a prevalence sufficiently high in acculturated societies to warrant it being designated a serious public health problem. In population studies, blood pressure has been found to be a continuously distributed risk variable with mortality directly related to the level of blood pressure. Thus, hypertension is both a disease and a risk factor. Classic genetic studies suggest that the predisposition for the development of hypertension is an inherited trait that becomes manifest when coupled with one or more environmental insults. Risk factors for hypertension include age, weight, sedentary lifestyle, excessive dietary sodium intake, and excessive alcohol intake. Current and future research is being directed toward the identification of predictors of hypertension that can be conceptualized according to demographic, clinical, genetic, challenge-response, and laboratory predictors. The intent is to identify subjects with a high probability for the development of hypertension in advance of the rise in blood pressure so that appropriate interventions can be implemented as early as possible.
- Copyright © 1990 by American Heart Association