Skip to content

Understanding Primary and Secondary Hypertension

Nearly 50% of adults in the United States have hypertension, or high blood pressure, a leading cause of heart disease. Unfortunately, many more people might be living with the condition and not even know it.

To reduce your risk of heart disease, our team at HeartCare Associates of Connecticut, LLC, recommends regular blood pressure checks. We also provide services that help you manage hypertension in the long-term to prevent serious health complications.

Here’s some helpful info on high blood pressure and the two types: primary and secondary hypertension.

An overview of hypertension

Hypertension is a condition where the force of your blood against your artery walls is too high. If left untreated, this increased blood pressure can damage your arteries and make it more difficult for your blood to circulate throughout your body.

There are many people who unknowingly have hypertension and are at risk for developing serious health complications, including:

These conditions can lead to long-term health issues and increase your risk for premature death.

The classifications of hypertension

There are two classifications of hypertension – primary and secondary. At HeartCare Associates of Connecticut, LLC, we can diagnose which type you have and customize a treatment plan to help you keep it well-controlled.

Primary hypertension

Primary hypertension, or essential hypertension, describes high blood pressure levels that occur for no known reason. This type of hypertension is the most common and develops gradually over time, possibly due to smoking, having a poor diet, and being overweight.

Secondary hypertension

Secondary hypertension is high blood pressure that develops because of other underlying health conditions. If you have thyroid or kidney disease, you might be at increased risk for developing hypertension.

You can also develop secondary hypertension if you have obstructive sleep apnea or use illicit drugs, birth control pills, or over-the-counter cold medicines.

Hypertension is a silent killer

You can have either type of hypertension without knowing it because the condition typically doesn’t cause symptoms until it’s in the advanced stages.

If your blood pressure gets too high, it can lead to dizziness, fainting, and shortness of breath. However, many people unknowingly live with elevated blood pressure that remains uncontrolled, which is why hypertension is often referred to as the “silent killer.”

The only way to know that you have hypertension is to get regular blood pressure screenings. Screenings are typically a part of your routine health care checkups, but you might need more frequent screenings if you have underlying health issues and other risk factors for high blood pressure, such as:

  • Obesity
  • Chronic stress
  • Smoking history
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • High-salt diet
  • Family history of hypertension

Your risk for hypertension also increases as you age, especially if you’re over 50.

Tips for preventing hypertension

You can reduce your risk for complications of hypertension by making changes to your lifestyle and diet. Our team at HeartCare Associates of Connecticut, LLC, recommends eating a heart-healthy diet, getting daily exercise, and maintaining a healthy body weight.

You should also limit your use of alcohol, quit smoking, and be mindful of your stress levels.

If these changes aren’t enough to lower your blood pressure, our team can prescribe medications that support your lifestyle as well as diet changes to keep your blood pressure well-controlled.

If you need help managing hypertension, call the HeartCare Associates of Connecticut, LLC, office nearest you today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Fear Not! Heart Check-Ups Are Easier Than Ever

Is the idea of checking your heart health causing unnecessary stress? You’ve probably heard the statistics before about how the leading cause of death in the United States is heart disease.    But that doesn’t mean you should be afraid of checking up on your heart. More often than not, heart-related deaths are preventable, especially

Read More »

How to Treat Your Leg Veins So They Don’t Get Worse.

With the warmer temperatures on the way, we can look forward to sunny days by the pool or on the beach. But if you’re like the many Americans with leg veins, you may be reluctant to show off your legs this spring. Studies show that over 25 million people in the United States have varicose

Read More »

The Surprising Link Between Your Kidneys and Your Heart

17-50% of patients with chronic kidney failure also suffer from heart failure. Studies show that the mortality rate of heart failure increases with worsening renal failure. You may be surprised to learn that your kidneys say a lot about your heart. The harmful effects of high blood pressure and diabetes on your heart can also

Read More »

February is American Heart Month

Celebrate American Heart Month this February by raising awareness and taking simple steps to combat one of America’s greatest threats. Whether it means caring for your own health or sharing knowledge with loved ones, American Heart Month is your chance to take action – especially for women. In fact, cardiovascular disease is the number one

Read More »

Easy New Year’s Healthy Habits You Can Actually Keep.

It’s a new year and many of us are feeling the pressure to set lofty goals. One study showed that 62% of adults feel that they have to set New Year’s resolutions. However, history tells us that many of these goals never come to fruition. Luckily there are simple ways to create healthy habits that

Read More »
heart care CT

5 Ways to Deal with Holiday Blues and Find Joy Amidst Sadness

While the holiday season is often depicted as a time of joy, celebration, and togetherness, if you’re not feeling the holiday cheer, you’re not alone. About 41% of Americans surveyed, report feeling an increase in stress this year due to the holidays.  The holidays can cause higher levels of anxiety and depression for many reasons.

Read More »

Appointment Request


HeartCare Associates of Connecticut provides the highest level of care to our patients. From treatments of common coronary problems, to non-invasive and state-of-the-art procedures, to life saving surgeries our dedicated and compassionate staff will make you feel at ease.

Some of the most common illnesses and issues we treat are:

  • Aneurysms

  • Cardiac Catherterization, Angiography & Stenting

  • Congestive Heart Failure Treatment Center

  • Coronary Bypass Surgery

  • Coronary Heart Disease

  • Coumadin & Anticoagulation Clinic

  • Diabetes

  • Dizziness, Palpitations, & Heart Rhythmn

  • Heart Valve Problems

  • High Cholesterol & Triglycerides

  • Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

  • Nuclear Cardiac Scanning

  • Nutrition Programs

  • Pacemakers

  • Peripheral Arterial Disease

  • Preventive Health Programs

  • Stroke Prevention

  • Swelling (Edema) of the Legs & Ankles

  • Treatment & Prevention of Obesity

  • Ultrasound Testing & Echocardiography

  • Vein Care

  • Womens Health