A nurse is assessing a patient who has longstanding hypertension. The nurse knows that complications of hypertension are possibly arising when which of the following signs are noted?

Dyspnea at rest
Pain in the legs after climbing stairs
Trace proteins in the urinalysis


• Proteinuria and albuminuria are early indicators of renal injury, a serious complication that can be caused by hypertension. High pressures damage the kidneys' ability to filter toxins, and evidence of this damage is seen as proteins leak out into the urine.

• Peripheral artery disease is a complication of hypertension in which plaques in leg arteries compromise blood flow to the legs, causing pain, aching, or heaviness in the legs, feet, and buttocks after activity.

• Dyspnea at rest is associated with congestive heart failure (CHF). High blood pressure contributes directly to the development of CHF by increasing the workload of the heart and leading to thickening of the ventricle walls.

• Incorrect: Fatigability and headache are symptoms of hypertension but are not indicators of progressive disease or complications.  These may also be side effects of certain medications used to treat hypertension.

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