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Resistant hypertension: patient characteristics, risk factors, co-morbidities and outcomes

Abstract

Among the vast population of hypertensive subjects, between 10 and 15% do not achieve an adequate blood pressure (BP) control despite the use of at least three antihypertensive agents. This group, designated as having resistant hypertension (RH), represents one of the most important clinical challenges in hypertension evaluation and management. Resistant hypertensives are characterized by several clinical particularities, such as a longer history of hypertension, obesity and other accompanying factors, such as diabetes, left ventricular hypertrophy, albuminuria and renal dysfunction. In addition to other diagnostic and therapeutic maneuvers, such as excluding secondary hypertension, ensuring treatment adherence and optimizing therapeutic schemes, ambulatory BP monitoring (ABPM) is crucial in the clinical evaluation of patients with RH. ABPM distinguish between those with out-of-office BP elevation (true resistant hypertensives) and those having white-coat RH (WCRH; normalcy of 24-h BPs), the prevalence of the latter estimated in about one-third of the population with RH. True resistant hypertensives also exhibit more frequently other co-morbidities, more severe target organ damage and a worse cardiovascular prognosis, in comparison to those with WCRH. Some device-based therapies have recently been developed for treatment of RH. This requires a better characterization of a potential candidate population. A better knowledge of the clinical features of resistant hypertensive subjects, the confirmation of elevated BP values out of the doctor’s office, and improvements in the search for secondary causes would help to select those candidates for newer therapies, once the pharmacological possibilities have been exhausted.

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Correspondence to A de la Sierra.

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Oliveras, A., de la Sierra, A. Resistant hypertension: patient characteristics, risk factors, co-morbidities and outcomes. J Hum Hypertens 28, 213–217 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1038/jhh.2013.77

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Keywords

  • resistant hypertension
  • ambulatory blood pressure monitoring
  • cardiovascular prognosis.

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