Risk factors and causes of malignant hypertension
Some people are at high risk of malignant hypertension, such as:
- African-American people
- Hypertensive patients with blood pressure ≥140/90
- Poor management of hypertension due to any cause like low socioeconomic level and inadequate medical care
Other health problems can lead to malignant hypertension, such as:
- Kidney diseases and renal failure weaken the blood pressure-regulating mechanisms, which are already weak in hypertensive patients.
- Autoimmune diseases -called collagen vascular diseases-, such as scleroderma: these diseases damage the collagen in the walls of blood vessels, which plays a vital role in their resilience. Collagen damage leads to stiffness in the walls of blood vessels, which raises blood pressure.
- Adrenal gland tumors (for example, pheochromocytoma): these tumors secrete the catecholamines (adrenaline and noradrenaline) in large amounts, which elevates blood pressure extremely.
- Some medications may cause malignant hypertension like oral contraceptives (birth control medications), cocaine, and amphetamines.
- Spinal cord injuries: some of these injuries may affect certain regions (like the thoracic region) that over-activate certain parts of the nervous system, and this may elevate blood pressure.
- Preeclampsia and eclampsia (toxemia of pregnancy)
- Non-adherence to the treatment plan in hypertensive patients
People with these conditions may develop malignant hypertension. Thus, they should monitor their blood pressure regularly and follow a treatment plan to keep it within a safe range.