Renovascular hypertension is a secondary form of high blood pressure caused by a narrowing of the renal artery.
Primary hypertension, or high blood pressure, affects millions of Americans. It accounts for over 90% of all cases of hypertension and develops without apparent causes. It is helpful for the clinician to know if a secondary disease ease is present and may be contributing to the high pressure. If clinical tests indicate this is so, the term used for the rise in blood pressure is secondary hypertension.
Renal hypertension is the most common form of secondary hypertension and affects no more than one percent of all adults with primary hypertension. There are two forms of renovascular hypertension.
In atherosclerotic renovascular hypertension disease, plaque is deposited in the renal artery. The deposits narrow the artery, disrupting blood flow. Atherosclerotic renovascular hypertension is most often seen in men over age 45 and accounts for two-thirds of the cases of renovascular hypertension. In most patients, it affects the renal arteries to both kidneys.
Renovascular hypertension caused by fibromuscular dysplasia occurs mainly in women under age 45. It is also the cause of hypertension in 10% of children with the disorder. In fibromuscular dysplasia, cells from the artery wall overgrow and cause a narrowing of the artery channel.
The risk of having hypertension is related to age, lifestyle, environment, and genetics. Smoking, stress, obesity, a diet high in salt, exposure to heavy metals, and an inherited predisposition toward hypertension all increase the chances that a person will develop both primary and renovascular hypertension.
Tish Davidson, The Gale Group Inc., Gale, Detroit,