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Diagnosis Facts to Know


Updated November 27, 2006

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Understanding Your Diagnosis Step 2: Determine The Underlying Cause

High blood pressure can sometimes be due to an identifiable underlying cause. These causes can include kidney disease, certain medications, tumors, and more. If an underlying cause is identified, then your doctor will devise treatment to address it along with the high blood pressure.

More commonly, however, no single causal factor can be identified as leading to elevated blood pressure. In these cases, the blood pressure itself is the sole target of treatment, and the medications and strategies used will differ.

Understanding whether your blood pressure has an identified cause (called Secondary Hypertension) or has arisen independently of identifiable factors (called Primary Hypertention) will allow you to focus your physical and mental energy on addressing the next steps in treatment. It can also actually provide significant peace of mind, since it will either definitively rule in or rule out the possiblility of other underlying diseases.

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