Hypertension has been considered a disease of modern life,1 making competitors in the "rat race" prone to becoming unspontaneously hypertensive. While raised blood pressure appears to be a recognized occupational hazard of soldiers in combat,2 secluded nuns have no less hypertension than women exposed to the bustle of the world.3 Hypertension cannot be due to stress alone.
Drs Guyton and Reis agree that the nervous system is crucial in resetting blood pressure; they disagree when they attribute the central role in essential hypertension to the kidney and the nervous system, respectively. Dr Guyton points out that, experimentally, interference with nervous control results in acute but not sustained hypertension, and while the sympathetic activity of spontaneously hypertensive rats is considerably greater than that in normal rats,4,5 the hypertension-prone "salt-sensitive Dahl rat" does not develop irreversible hypertension with stressful stimuli.6 Dr Reis argues from a formidable body
Hachinski V. Neurogenic Hypertension. Arch Neurol. 1988;45(2):183. doi:10.1001/archneur.1988.00520260069023
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