Psychological aspects in the management of patients with essential hypertension

Maria Luisa Genesia, Franco Rabbia, Elisa Testa, Silvia Totaro, Elena Berra, Michele Covella, Chiara Fulcheri, Giulia Bruno, Franco Veglio



The hypertensive patient is the most stable phenotype in psychosomatic medicine. Hypertensive patients represent a vulnerable population that deserves special attention from health care providers and systems, and psychosomatic medicine may be an important tool in the management of high blood pressure. Depression, anxiety disorders and personality features are often associated with elevated blood pressure (BP) and they may have a role in the development of mild high-renin essential hypertension. Besides, “white coat” hypertension and “masked” hypertension demonstrate how clinic blood pressure could be strongly related to trait anxiety. Hypertension is largely asymptomatic, and patients often have little understanding of the importance of achieving BP control. Medication adverse effects may become an important factor in poor adherence to the treatment and the antidepressant use increases the risk of hypertension. So, the challenge in the management of hypertensive patients is the adherence to non-pharmacological and behavioural treatments for hypertension.


Psychological aspects; Essential hypertension; White coat hypertension; Stress; Allostasis

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