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Psychological Stress in Pathogenesis of Essential Hypertension

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The article represents literature review and provides evidence for psychological stress to play essential role in the development of arterial hypertension. The pathogenesis of hypertension is complex with a significant diversity and variability of the mechanisms involved in individual patient. In this regard, the determination of specific pathogenic pathways underlying sustained blood pressure elevation in each patient would substantially individualize therapeutic approaches, and hence increase the effectiveness of treatment. Psychological stress is proposed as a significant factor contributing to the development of hypertension. Global urbanization, sedentary lifestyle, daily stress at workplace, lack of physical activity and social support lead to increased anxiety, uncertainty, and finally to chronic mental and emotional stress. This review provides information about alterations in neuroendocrine and immune systems as the main pathogenic pathways linking psychological stress and hypertension. Endothelial dysfunction is considered not only as a consequence but also a primary factor causing prohypertensive state. Moreover, physical inactivity is discussed as one of the plausible mechanisms playing a key role in the development of hypertension in modern lifestyle conditions. Particularly the loss of connection between psychosocial strain and physical activity may underlie the deleterious effect of stress on cardiovascular and metabolic health.
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Keywords: Arterial hypertension; biomarker; endothelial dysfunction; physical activity; psychological stress

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2016

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  • Current Hypertension Reviews publishes frontier reviews on all the latest advances on hypertension and its related areas e.g. nephrology, clinical care, and therapy. The journal's aim is to publish the highest quality review articles dedicated to clinical research in the field. The journal is essential reading for all clinicians and researchers in the field of hypertension.
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