One cause of primary hypertension is the overactivity of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. This system is comprised of the related hormones, renin, angiotensin and aldosterone, that work in conjunction to regulate blood pressure and control inflammation. “These three act to elevate arterial pressure in response to decreased renal blood pressure, decreased salt delivery to the distal convoluted tubule, and/or beta-agonism” (Fountain & Lappin, 2021). However, overactivity of this system can lead to primary hypertension. According to Fountain and Lappin (2021), though the RAAS serves a critical function, it can be activated inappropriately in several conditions that may lead to the development of hypertension. One such condition is renal artery stenosis that results in a decreased amount of blood volume reaching one or both kidneys. “As a result, the juxtaglomerular cells will sense a decrease in blood volume, activating the RAAS. This can lead to an inappropriate elevation of circulating blood volume and arteriolar tone due to poor renal perfusion” (Fountain & Lappin, 2021). Another cause of primary hypertension is overactivity of the sympathetic nervous system. According to Wyss and Carlson, the primary final common pathway for the nervous system’s contribution to hypertension is the sympathetic nervous system. The overactivity of this system can be the result of several factors occurring in the body. “Sympathetic nervous system overactivity may result from either inappropriately elevated sympathetic drive from brain centers, an increase in synaptically released neurotransmitters in the periphery, or amplification of the neurotransmitter signal at the target tissue” (Wyss & Carlson, 2001). Finally, inflammation can also lead to hypertension. Inflammation is the result of an injury or infection as a protective response from various cells. The inflammatory cascade response results in oxidative stress and endothelial dysfunction. Therefore, excessive inflammation can produce extremely harmful effects on the body leading to chronic diseases like hypertension. According to Savoia and Schiffrin. (2006), inflammatory processes are important participants in the pathophysiology of hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. In primary hypertension, blood flow is restricted due to increased peripheral vascular resistance. “Inflammatory markers, such as C-reactive protein, are associated with vascular lesions in humans, and are predictive of cardiovascular outcome” (Savoia & Schiffrin, 2006).
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