Monday, August 27, 2007

Hypertension - High blood Pressure, Social Security Disability SSI - Applying for Disability

Along with various related back problems (degenerative disc disease, lower back pain, spinal stenosis, curvature of the spine), hypertension, or high blood pressure, is one of the most commonly listed impairments on applications for disability.

Can you be approved for social security disability or SSI on the basis of high blood pressure? Yes you can. And unlike a number of various physical and mental impairments, high blood pressure is given specific consideration in the social security administration's impairment listing manual.

Disability criteria for hypertension fall under section 4.03, titled Hypertensive Cardiovascular disease. However, this listing, like so many others, refers to the criteria designated in other listings. Basically, disability applicants with high blood pressure are evaluated under the SSA criteria for chronic heart failure and ischemic heart disease (another way of saying coronary artery disease). They are also evaluated according by reference to certain body organs that are typically affected by high blood pressure such as the heart (previously mentioned), the brain, the eyes, and the kidneys.

Should this be surprising? Not really. As I've said many times here before. In evaluating disability claims, the social security administration is not concerned with a specific diagnosis (in other words, the identification of a condition), but, rather with the functional limitations caused by having one or more conditions.

For additional information on the social security disability and SSI system, you may wish to refer to the link at the top of the page that leads to Disability, or you may choose to scroll to the bottom of this post and submit a free case evaluation form if you need assistance on a disability claim.

What follows is basic information on hypertension, a.k.a. high blood pressure:

Elevated blood pressure is not considered an illness, however the condition is treated because of its adverse effects upon organs such as the brain, kidneys, heart, eyes, and lungs. If an individual has persistent elevated blood pressure of 140/ 90, the diagnosis is hypertension.

Hypertension is categorized into two types: essential or primary hypertension and secondary hypertension.

Approximately ninety percent of all diagnosed cases of hypertension are considered to be essential hypertension. Essential hypertension is hypertension with no specific etiology, which affects adolescents and adults. Although the cause of essential hypertension is not known, there seems to be a correlation to obesity, cholesterol, and, occasionally diabetes mellitus.

Secondary hypertension is caused by another condition such as certain types of tumors (especially adrenal gland tumors) or kidney disease. Renal parenchymal disease causes about seventy percent of the secondary hypertension among children.

There are many risk factors associated with persistent hypertension, including stroke, aneurysms, cardiovascular disease, myocardial infarction, hypertensive chronic heart failure, hypertensive nephrology (chronic renal failure), and hypertensive retinopathy. Secondary hypertension is usually resolved by treating the underlying condition.

Treatment options for mild to moderate essential hypertension might include weight loss and exercise, however moderate to severe hypertension requires drug therapy.

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