War Surgery and Medicine
A survey has been made of the incidence of hypertension amongst service personnel of both world wars. Files relating to 1450 men of the First World War have been studied, while 309 files of cases of the Second World War diagnosed as hypertension and 1936 other files of men routinely applying for treatment for other conditions have been examined.
Cases are quoted who have a long period of longevity while suffering from simple essential hypertension. There is evidence that individuals may have very high blood pressures and feel no effects while going about their ordinary vocations. Doctors should avoid creating invalidity and in their handling of patients be guided by the symptoms suffered, rather than the high pressure recordings on the sphygmomanometer.
All the evidence is against any suggestion that DAH or neurocirculatory asthenia or war neurosis has any effect on the etiology or incidence of hypertension.page 687
Amongst service personnel there is no tendency for hypertension to occur at any earlier age than amongst the civil population. Cases who have undergone the same medical screening for service, trained and undergone the same living conditions as thousands of their comrades, and whose blood pressures continue for years within normal limits, may suddenly without warning show evidence of malignant hypertension without any known cause.