​Secondary Hypertension​​


​ Secondary hypertension, also known as inessential hypertension, is a form of hypertension that is caused by another medical condition. Around 5% cases of high blood pressure are secondary hypertension. This type of hypertension is caused by diseases that affect your kidneys, heart, arteries or endocrine system. It can also occur during pregnancy.

Similar to primary hypertension, secondary hypertension does not produce any clear symptoms. Secondary hypertension can be differentiated from primary hypertension if you have already been diagnosed with high blood pressure and have the following signs:

  • High blood pressure that does not respond to antihypertensive medications

  • High blood pressure that stops responding to blood pressure medications

  • No family history of hypertension

  • No obesity​

You should schedule regular appointments with the highly trained staff of Internal Medicine Service Line​ at the Aga Khan University Hospital if you suffer from any disease that can cause secondary hypertension, so your blood pressure can be frequently monitored. 

Your time with your doctor maybe limited, so make sure to prepare for your visit beforehand. Here are some tips to help get you started.​

For diagnoses of secondary hypertension, your doctor will measure your blood pressure using a blood pressure monitor. If the readings are higher than normal for three to six consecutive appointments, your doctor will conduct further tests to determine the underlying cause of elevated blood pressure. These tests may include:

  • Blood test to measure the levels of potassium, sodium, cholesterol and triglycerides, and other chemicals in your blood

  • Urinalysis to check the urine for indicators that the hypertension is due to another medical disorder

  • Ultrasound to get a clearer image of your kidneys and blood vessels, since various kidney diseases are linked to secondary hypertension

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG) in which sensors placed on your chest measure the electrical activity of the heart. This is done to check if the secondary hypertension is caused due to any heart problems.​

Hypertension is rarely taken as a serious disease though it claims numerous lives every year. Therefore it is highly recommended to take the medications prescribed to by your doctor at the <Internal Medicine Service Line> at the Aga Khan University Hospital, who strive to provide you with quality healthcare services.

The medications given to you will depend on the underlying cause of secondary hypertension. Possible drugs may include:

  • Beta blockers which reduces the work load on the heart and opens up the blood vessels. This lowers the heart rate and your heart beats with less force. Beta blockers aren’t suitable for people with asthma, as they can increase muscle spasm in lungs

  • Calcium channel blockers which helps relax the muscles of your blood vessels

  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors which help relax blood vessels by inhibiting the formation of a natural chemical that narrows blood vessels. ACE inhibitors are usually prescribed to people suffering from coronary artery disease, heart failure or kidney failure.

  • Angiotensin II receptor blockers  which helps relax blood vessels by inhibiting the action of a natural chemical that narrows blood vessels. Like ACE inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockers are also prescribed to people suffering from coronary artery disease, heart failure or kidney failure.

  • Renin inhibitors which lowers the production of renin. Renin is an enzyme, produced by the kidneys, that starts a chain of chemical steps which leads to increase in blood pressure.

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers various support services to help with managing or recovering from the disease or condition. These include but are not limited to nutrition, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, specialized clinics and some patient support groups. Your doctor or nurse will advise you accordingly.
 
The Aga Khan University Hospital offers financial assistance to those who are in need and fulfil the eligibility criteria. For further information, you can contact the Patient Welfare Department. You can find the contact number of the Patient Welfare Department in the 'Important Numbers' section on the website homepage.
 
The financial counselling staff is available during office hours, at the main PBSD (Patient Business Services Department), to answer your financial queries on treatments' costs and authorize admissions on partial deposit as per hospital policies allow. The financial counsellor in the emergency room is open 24/7. You can find the contact number of the Patient Business Services in the 'Important Numbers' section on the website homepage.

Your doctor and or nurse will give you specific instructions about the prescribed medication. Please ensure that you take or use the prescribed medicine as advised. It can be dangerous to your health if you self-prescribe. Please inform the doctor or nurse beforehand if you have experienced any adverse reactions to any medications in the past. If you experience any symptoms of drug poisoning, overdose or severe reaction please contact the Pharmacy Service at The Aga Khan University Hospital immediately. You can find the contact number of the Pharmacy Services in the 'Important Numbers' section on the website homepage.