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Behavioral Aspects of Arterial Hypertension and Its Treatment

  • Joanna M. Polefrone
  • Stephen B. Manuck
  • Kevin T. Larkin
  • M. Elizabeth Francis

Abstract

Diseases of the heart and the vasculature account for more than half of all deaths occurring annually in the United States. Among the disorders contributing to this statistic, coronary heart disease and stroke are by far the most significant. These clinical manifestations often result from a lifelong accumulation of fatty lesions (atherosclerosis) in the intima, or inner layer, of arteries carrying blood to the heart muscle and the brain. Atherosclerosis produces no symptoms in its early stages of development, but after decades of continued growth and complication, such lesions begin to encroach on the interior of arteries. Ultimately, such obstructions can compromise blood flow to tissues supplied by the affected vessels. A complete blockage of the arterial blood flow, often associated with sudden formation of a clot (or thrombus) within the artery, results in death or degeneration of the distal tissue; this damage is referred to as infarction and has ominous consequences when affecting either the heart (heart attack) or the brain (stroke). It is also possible to experience either heart attack or stroke in the absence of appreciable atherosclerosis, due, respectively, to spasm of the coronary arteries and to embolism or hemorrhaging of the cerebral blood vessels.

Keywords

Blood Pressure Hypertensive Patient High Blood Pressure Arterial Hypertension Essential Hypertension 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joanna M. Polefrone
    • 1
  • Stephen B. Manuck
    • 1
  • Kevin T. Larkin
    • 2
  • M. Elizabeth Francis
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Pittsburgh, Clinical Psychology CenterPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyWest Virginia UniversityMorgantownUSA

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