Secondary Hypertension

Medically Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on September 20, 2021

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is classified as "essential" (primary) or "secondary.” Essential hypertension does not have an apparent cause. It may be due to such things as family history or lifestyle. Most people with high blood pressure have essential hypertension.

Secondary hypertension, which happens in about 10% of people with high blood pressure, is less common and is the result of another condition, such as:

How Is Secondary Hypertension Diagnosed?

After you’re diagnosed with high blood pressure, your doctor may do other tests such as blood and urine screening to make sure you don't have secondary hypertension.

How Is Secondary Hypertension Treated?

In order to treat secondary hypertension, your doctor will address the underlying condition or disorder.

When the root cause of secondary hypertension is treated, blood pressure usually lowers or returns to normal.

In cases where narrowed arteries are the cause of high blood pressure (coarctation, narrowed kidney arteries) you may need surgery.

Your doctor may also choose to treat you with blood pressure drugs in addition to addressing the underlying health issues.

Show Sources


Onusko, E. Am Fam Physician, Jan 2003.

Georgetown University Medical Center.

American Family Physician: “Diagnosing Secondary Hypertension.”

Journal of Family Practice: “The Diagnosis of Essential and Secondary Hypertension in Adults.”

University of Maryland Medical Center: “Secondary Hypertension.”

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