Hypertension Is a medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is persistently elevated above normal levels. High blood pressure usually does not cause symptoms Long-term high blood pressure, however, is a major risk factor for coronary artery disease, stroke, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, peripheral vascular disease, vision loss, chronic kidney disease, and dementia.
Hypertension can be classified as either primary (essential) high blood pressure or secondary high blood pressure. Primary hypertension is most common with >90% of cases defined as high blood pressure due to nonspecific (unknown) factors. Some contributors to primary hypertension appear to be related to lifestyle choices such as excess salt in the diet, excess body weight, smoking and alcohol use. Secondary hypertension is defined as high blood pressure due to an identifiable cause, such as atherosclerosis of the arteries, chronic kidney disease endocrine disorders, or related to known side effects of other medication.
Researchers studying hypertension, its causes and responses to potential treatments use a variety of animal models. These include rodents, both rats and mice. Rabbits, dogs and non-human primates for drug safety testing.
Due to the complex nature of blood pressure control, multiple endpoints are of interest. These include systolic and diastolic arterial pressure (the maximum and minimum pressures in the arteries during each cardiac cycle), pulse pressure, heart rate, heart rate variability, baroreceptor sensitivity, pulse wave velocity, renal nerve activity and cardiac function.