Have a patient with hypertension? Consider secondary causes when working these patients up. Common secondary causes of hypertension include:
Obstructive sleep apnea, renal artery stenosis, alcohol abuse, NSAIDs, chronic OTC decongestant abuse, oral contraceptives, Cushing’s syndrome, and hyperaldosteronism.
I have had multiple patients who were on blood pressure medication who actually had sleep apnea. Once they started treatment for the sleep apnea, their blood pressures began to normalize, and they were able to either decrease their hypertensive medication or stop it completely.
Always have the secondary causes of hypertension in the back of your mind when you are treating your hypertensive patients vs. just prescribing them another hypertensive medication. Sometimes, there is an underlying treatable condition!