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What is secondary hypertension?

Some people have high blood pressure caused by an underlying condition.

This type of high blood pressure, called secondary hypertension, tends to appear suddenly and cause higher blood pressure than primary hypertension.

Various conditions and medications can lead to secondary hypertension, including:

  • Kidney problems
  • Adrenal gland tumors
  • Thyroid problems
  • Certain defects in blood vessels you’re born with (congenital)
  • Certain medications, such as birth control pills, cold remedies, decongestants, over-the-counter pain relievers and some prescription drugs
  • Illegal drugs
  • Alcohol abuse or chronic alcohol use
  • Obstructive sleep apnea