There are a number of aetiologies that have been implicated in the development of hypertension.

The commonest form of hypertension is essential hypertension in which no specific cause can be identified but with which various risk factors are associated. For example:

  • Age
  • Family history
  • Obesity
  • Salt ingestion

There are, however, various specific causes of hypertension (‘secondary’ hypertension) which can be identified in about 10% of hypertensive patients.