Information for Patient History

The following information should be sought when a history is taken:

Duration of pre-existing hypertension

Determine the duration of pre-existing hypertension and related issues, such as medication compliance and previous emergency presentations.

Predisposing illnesses or conditions

Check whether there are any other illnesses or conditions which may predispose the patient to hypertension. For example:

  • Connective tissue diseases
  • Renal disease
  • Cushing disease
  • Pregnancy for risk of eclampsia

Related illnesses

Establish whether the patient has any other illnesses which may be related to hypertension. For example:

  • Previous stroke
  • Ischaemic heart disease

Drug history

The drug history should focus both on relevant antihypertensive medication and drugs with hypertensive side effects, such as sympathomimetic agents, which might be implicated in a hypertensive emergency.

The patient should be specifically questioned about use of drugs of abuse such as cocaine, particularly when there are no clear risk factors, or a past history of hypertension.