What are the essential elements of evaluating a patient's hypertension history in hypertensive emergencies?

Updated: Feb 05, 2018
  • Author: Christy Hopkins, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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The duration and severity of the patient’s preexisting hypertension (including the degree of BP control) should be evaluated, as well as the patient's medication history. Details of antihypertensive drug therapy and compliance, intake of over-the-counter (OTC) preparations such as sympathomimetic agents, and use of illicit drugs such as cocaine are important elements of the medication history. In addition, it is important to elicit information about the presence of previous end-organ dysfunction, particularly renal and cerebrovascular disease, and any other medical problems (eg, thyroid disease, Cushing disease, systemic lupus). In female patients, determine the date of their last menstrual period.

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