What exactly is hypertension?
Hypertension is also known as high blood pressure. It is characterized as either a transient (short-lived) or persistent rise in blood pressure in the arteries. This increase may cause cardiovascular harm. If left untreated, circulatory system damage may lead to a heart attack, stroke, heart failure, heart disease, and kidney failure.
According to the WHO, hypertension is a significant cause of early mortality globally, with around 46 percent of people ignorant of their disease, 42 percent of adults diagnosed and treated, and approximately 21 percent of adults having their hypertension under control.
Numbers of pressure
Blood pressure is measured in systolic and diastolic units. The systolic measurement (top number) represents the maximum pressure in the arteries, while the diastolic measurement (bottom number) represents the least pressure. Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80, where 120 is the systolic (highest) measurement and 80 is the diastolic (minimum) value.
Hypertension develops when blood pressure exceeds 140/90. Prehypertension, which occurs when the blood pressure is between 120/80 and 139/89, increases the risk of hypertension.
There are two forms of hypertension: essential and secondary. Essential hypertension develops over time from an unknown cause of high blood pressure.
Secondary hypertension is high blood pressure caused by a recognized or direct source. This form of hypertension may be caused by illnesses such as obstructive sleep apnea, kidney disease, adrenal gland tumors, thyroid disorders, or medicines such as birth control pills or illicit narcotics such as cocaine and amphetamines.
A health care provider uses a sphygmomanometer to test blood pressure to diagnose hypertension. However, because the results of a sphygmomanometer measurement can be skewed by stress, additional questions about family history and other risk factors are frequently needed to make a complete and accurate diagnosis. Electrocardiograms, echocardiograms, or blood tests may be used to further evaluate the heart or identify possible causes of secondary hypertension when hypertension is suspected.
Rates and risk elements
The risk of hypertension rises with age. Men are more likely to get hypertension (50 percent), but women (44 percent) are more likely to develop hypertension beyond the age of 65.
Physical characteristics and lifestyle decisions may all contribute to a patient's susceptibility to high blood pressure. Smoking, obesity or being overweight, diabetes, sedentary lifestyle, lack of physical activity, high salt or alcohol intake levels, insufficient calcium, potassium, or magnesium consumption, a vitamin D deficiency, stress, aging, chronic kidney disease, and adrenal and thyroid conditions or tumors are the most common causes of hypertension.
Some people may be genetically predisposed to hypertension. High blood pressure can sometimes be caused by pregnancy (gestational hypertension or preeclampsia).
Many instances of high blood pressure are asymptomatic, earning it the moniker "silent killer." Hypertension symptoms include headaches, tiredness, disorientation, dizziness, nausea, visual issues, chest pains, breathing problems, irregular pulse, and blood in the urine.
Uncontrolled hypertension can cause aneurysms, damage to blood vessels in the kidneys or eyes, metabolic syndrome, memory loss or difficulty understanding, and dementia.
High blood pressure, fortunately, is readily detectable and curable with lifestyle modifications and medicines.
Prevention and treatment
Changing lifestyle variables such as eating, smoking, and exercise behaviors are used to treat hypertension. ACE inhibitors, ARB medicines, beta-blockers, diuretics, calcium channel blockers, alpha-blockers, and peripheral vasodilators are examples of pharmaceutical therapies. The greatest method to avoid hypertension is to eat healthily and exercise regularly. Consuming more fruits and vegetables, reducing saturated fats, and avoiding trans fats are all effective approaches to reduce hypertension.
Reducing stress, salt intake, and alcohol consumption are all effective approaches to reduce hypertension. Patients may control their hypertension by regularly testing their blood pressure, remaining on track with therapy (diet, exercise, and medication), and managing other medical disorders.
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