The disease is defined by elevated systolic or diastolic blood pressure that is associated with increased risk for cardiovascular and renal disease. The disease might be primary, genetically determined or secondary to renal, edocrinological or neurological diseases.
First, a secondary hypertension has to be excluded. Next, it should be proved if there were signs of some monogenic form of hypertension. Last, genetic risks have to be evaluated.
In most cases hypertension is asymptomatic when recognized. Patients rather start complaining when blood pressure is lowered too abruptly. Family history, however, reveals several members with not only elevated blood pressure but also stroke and other cardiovascular diseases resulting from untreated hypertension.
Pathogenetic aspects of primary hypertension can be divided into three groups: monogenic forms of hereditary hypertension. mutations and polymorphisms associated with increased risk of hypertension. genetic variations responsible for increased susceptibility to hypertensive complications.
Barlassina C et al. (2002) Genetics of essential hypertension: from families to genes.[^]
Freedman BI et al. (2003) Susceptibility genes for hypertension and renal failure.[^]