oa SA Pharmaceutical Journal - Hypertension and cardiovascular risk factors : clinical

Volume 74, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 2221-5875
  • E-ISSN: 2220-1017



It must be remembered that not only are there risk factors predisposing a patient towards hypertension, but that hypertension itself is a risk factor for developing CVD.

Hypertension, cigarette smoking, hypercholesterolaemia and diabetes are the principal risk factors for CVD.
The hypertensive patient's likelihood of developing CVD depends more on the sum of his / her risk factors than on the BP alone.
The risk of CVD in smokers is proportional to the number of cigarettes smoked and how deeply the smoker inhales. Total serum cholesterol values above 6.5 mmol/l are associated with a high risk of CAD.
There is strong evidence that, in patients with insulin resistance, vascular abnormalities such as hypertension and atherosclerosis precede the onset of type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Obesity is strongly associated with the metabolic syndrome (a condition including obesity, high triglyceride levels, low HDL levels, high BP and high fasting plasma glucose levels).
A health care professional should help the patient translate medical targets into realistic personal goals.
Selection of an antihypertensive agent must be informed by the patient's individual risk profile, the likelihood of drug interaction and the accessibility of the medication to the patient.
The Framingham Risk Scale (FRS) is a useful tool to calculate the 5-year absolute risk of a cardiovascular event (new angina, myocardial infarction, coronary heart disease, sudden death, stroke or transient ischaemic attack).

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