Few problems in medicine are of greater interest and importance than the present intensive search for the cause and relief of high blood pressure. The constant increase in the life span has brought with it a great increase in the prevalence of diseases of middle age and after—a period during which arterial hypertension is particularly apt to appear.
A generation ago high blood pressure was synonymous with chronic interstitial nephritis, but the extensive clinical and pathologic work of the last twenty-five years has shown that this view is almost certainly incorrect.
High blood pressure, according to von Monakow, 1 is "a symptom which, similar to fever, has no uniform etiology." This observer states further that "lasting increase in blood pressure is always due to abnormal contraction of arterioles" and notes that such contractions may be due to nervous causes having their origin in psychic disturbances, to disturbances in internal secretions,