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November 1939


Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1939;64(5):927-951. doi:10.1001/archinte.1939.00190050033004

Arterial hypertension1 is a common phenomenon. In some instances it is associated with diseases already plentifully described and believed to cause it. Such conditions comprise disturbances of four main systems: the genitourinary, the nervous, the endocrine and the vascular. It is generally believed that when disorders of these systems are accompanied by arterial hypertension the hypertension is a dependent phenomenon, for when they are relieved it often disappears. Such varieties of secondary arterial hypertension (B, table 1) are present in only a small number of all cases in which diastolic pressure is elevated. When none of these diseases is present and arterial pressure is elevated, an independent disease called "essential" (or "idiopathic") hypertension is regarded as responsible for the pathologic processes observed. Although the expression is an admission of ignorance, it must be understood that the condition called "essential" hypertension is present in over 85 per cent of all