Management of essential hypertension

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IntroductionEpidemiological studies have unequivocally shown that hypertension (HT)is a major cardiovascular (CV) risk factor and that a direct linear relationship exists between the severity of the blood pressure (BP) elevation and the occurrence of CV events.Areas of agreement and controversyThe beneficial effects of the BP-lowering interventions have been recognized since a number of years. These include not only the reduction in CV morbidity and mortality but also the regression (or the delay of progression) of HT-related end-organ damage, such as left ventricular hypertrophy, vascular remodelling, endothelial dysfunction and renal damage. Along with these well-established features, antihypertensive drug treatment still faces a number of unmet goals and unanswered questions, such as the target BP values to achieve in high-risk patients, the threshold of treatment in low-risk patients as well as the choice of the therapeutic approach more likely to offer greater CV protection.ConclusionDespite unmet goals, antihypertensive treatment has provided throughout the years successful results. Future efforts will be need to achieve a better BP control in the population and thus to obtain a greater CV protection.

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