What is the role of hypertension in the etiology of noncoronary atherosclerosis?

Updated: Dec 23, 2019
  • Author: F Brian Boudi, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Yasmine S Ali, MD, FACC, FACP, MSCI  more...
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Answer

Answer

Hypertension has been shown, in epidemiologic and experimental studies, to accelerate atherosclerotic vascular disease and increase the incidence of clinical complications.

The mechanism by which hypertension causes these effects is not known, and some uncertainty exists as to what the primary and secondary factors are in a typically multifactorial syndrome. These factors may include the above-mentioned hyperlipidemia, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, obesity, and physical inactivity.

Hypertension is associated with morphologic alterations of the arterial intima and functional alterations of the endothelium that are similar to the changes observed in hypercholesterolemia and established atherosclerosis. Endothelial dysfunction is a feature of hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and atherosclerosis and is known to represent and contribute to the procoagulant, proinflammatory, and proliferative components of atherogenesis.


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