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Blood Press. 1999;8(5-6):253-60.

Hypertension: an important precursor of heart failure.

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Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Göteborg, Sweden.


Hypertension is an important risk factor for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Hypertension is associated with the development of congestive heart failure by way of left ventricular hypertrophy, with left ventricular dilatation and through myocardial ischemia and left ventricular damage. Reports on the natural history of untreated hypertension indicate that at least 50% of affected subjects develop congestive heart failure. Hypertension is an important precursor of heart failure, and still the most common risk factor for congestive heart failure in the population. In clinical trials, particularly in elderly patients, a reduction in the incidence of congestive heart failure has been observed. Despite increments in the use of antihypertensive drugs, mortality from congestive heart failure among the elderly is increasing. Moreover, several patients with hypertension are unaware, untreated and uncontrolled for the most important risk factor for congestive heart failure. For the primary prevention of heart failure, improvements in blood pressure control are of vast importance.

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