What is resistant hypertension?

Treatment-resistant hypertension is blood pressure that remains greater than 140/90 mmHg, even when treated with three or more anti-hypertensive medications. Nearly six million Americans have this condition.
Joane Goodroe

In addition to the answers already provided, resistant hypertension may be due to hyperparathyroidism which is benign tumor (or tumors) of the parathyroid glands. With hyperparathyroidism, patients usually have an elevated calcium level and and a high parathyroid level.  However, some patients may have an elevated parathyroid hormone blood level but may not have a high calcium level. This makes diagnosis more difficult and challenging for the patient.


Resistant hypertension is when high blood pressure stays high even with excellent medical treatment. About 20 to 30 percent of people with high blood pressure have resistant hypertension. Old age and obesity are two main risk factors for resistant hypertension, according to the American Heart Association. Still, other people with resistant hypertension may have problems including type 2 diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, and kidney disease. Sometimes resistant hypertension is the result of poor blood pressure measurement. It may be an indication of excess sodium intake, inadequate diurectic therapy and drug interactions such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that may increase blood pressure. Also, drinking alcohol in excess may result in resistant hypertension.

Resistant hypertension is simply high blood pressure that's difficult to control. More specifically, it means you've tried at least three different antihypertensives to lower your blood pressure without any luck. In the end people with resistant hypertension may need to see a specialist in order to get proper treatment for their condition. Make sure you discuss any other drugs or supplements you might be taking with your doctor because they could be the cause of your unusually resistant high blood pressure.

Continue Learning about Hypertension



Clinically known as hypertension, high blood pressure can cause a host of problems if left untreated. The most common type of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure causes our hearts to work harder by forcing blood to push ag...

ainst the walls of our arteries at an elevated level. Hypertension is the leading cause of strokes and heart attack. It also increases your risk of having heart and kidney failure and hardening of the arteries, a condition called atherosclerosis.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.