Most Popular on Medindia

P
M

Hypertension / High Blood Pressure

Rating : 12345
Rate This Article : 1 2 3 4 5
G J E 4

About

High Blood Pressure or hypertension is defined as a consistently elevated blood pressure exceeding 140 mmHg (systolic) and/or 90 mmHg (diastolic).

Blood is carried to all parts of the body by the arteries. Blood pressure is defined as the force of the blood against the artery walls as the heart pumps the blood around the body. Each time the heart beats it pumps out blood into the arteries. Systolic pressure refers to blood pressure when the heart beats while pumping blood and diastolic pressure refers to blood pressure when the heart is at rest between beats. Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). The instrument that records the blood pressure is called sphygmomanometer. The normal recommended blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg.

Hypertension

If the blood pressure falls between the range of 120/80 mmHg and 140/90 mmHg it is termed as ‘pre-hypertension’.

High blood pressure can be dangerous as it makes the heart work harder. Hypertension is a ‘silent killer disease’ and it often has no signs and symptoms. If left untreated it can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke as well as kidney failure and eye damage. Some people may not realize they have high blood pressure until they have problems with their blood, heart or kidneys.

Almost one in every three people suffers from this condition and this may be related to our modern lifestyle and dietary changes. Consumption of salt, smoking, obesity, lack of exercise and stress are some of the factors that can lead to increase in the blood pressure.

Classification of hypertension

Primary (essential) hypertension - High blood pressure with no obvious underlying medical cause.

Secondary hypertension - High blood pressure caused by other conditions that affect the kidneys, arteries, heart or endocrine system.

Headaches, dizziness or nosebleeds are the common warning signs of high blood pressure.

Signs of High Blood Pressure

Adopting healthy lifestyle habits is an effective first step in both preventing and controlling high blood pressure. Diuretics, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors and calcium channel blockers can be used for treating hypertension.

High blood pressure is a chronic condition and usually lasts a lifetime once it is developed.

What are the Causes of High Blood Pressure?

Obesity

The causes of high blood pressure may vary according to individuals.

In 90 - 95% cases of high blood pressure, there is no specific underlying medical condition. Many patients have high blood pressure for years and do not know it. When the cause is unknown it is called essential hypertension or primary hypertension.

Certain associations have been noticed with people having essential hypertension. They include

A high intake of salt

Hereditary (genetic) susceptibility (30%)

Obesity

Kidney failure (renal insufficiency)

Lack of exercise

Aging inflammation

The remaining 5-10 % cases of hypertension are due to certain factors that can be corrected. This is known as secondary hypertension. The causes include –

Narrowing of certain arteries

Kidney abnormality

Structural abnormality of the aorta existing from birth

Adrenal gland diseases

Thyroid diseases

Pre-eclampsia, a significant increase in blood pressure during the last 3 months of pregnancy.

Use of illegal drugs such as cocaine and amphetamines.

Medications like birth control pills, cold remedies, decongestants, pain relievers.

Metabolic Syndrome  is also a cause of developing hypertension.

The major risk factors for developing hypertension are -

Age - Blood pressure increases as age increases.

Race - High blood pressure is more common in blacks than in whites.

Sex - In young adulthood and early middle age, men have high blood pressure more often than women.

Genetics - High blood pressure tends to run in families.
More

Show More Related Topics y

Post your Comments

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
User Avatar
* Your comment can be maximum of 2500 characters
Notify me when reply is posted I agree to the terms and conditions
A Comprehensive Genetic Testing is advised for all patients suffering from high blood pressure or hypertension to rule out the possible chronic complications like organ damages.
avinash1005 Wednesday, December 18, 2013
i am 39yrs old with hbp i take sigle medicine telma40mg pls give me a advice actual treatment 146/95, 140/90 sometimes 130/85 I have no idea what we do cn i take sarpgandha tab. Pls advice.
vinay765 Tuesday, October 15, 2013
I am a 56 year old teacher with HBP. I take 2 medications. While at an antique show I signed up for a free x-ray and consultation at a local chiropractic office. The first visit the doctor took the x-ray, the second he went over the results. I was shocked to see that the top part of my spine was out of alignment. I agreed to having my spine adjusted to get it straight. The doctor proceeded to crack my neck. The next day, I remembered that I had this deep pain in my neck noticeable only when I pressed in firmly. It has been there for years. I decided to check it and was AMAZED that it was gone ! I have had 3 adjustments. Last night I decided to check my blood pressure because during my research about spine adjustments I read that it can lower high blood pressure and the reasons why made sense. Well, you guessed it- my blood pressure was 122/76! I took several readings. I will continue to check as I continue my therapy. My BP before was 140s-150s/80s-90s for years even on BP meds. Checkout how your spine alignment relates to HBP. Hope this helps someone out there!
Denise1957 Saturday, September 28, 2013
Its really wonderful to know that spine alignment is linked to BP...!! thank you for your post..
avinash1005 Monday, December 30, 2013
My blood pressure has been 120/80 for years but I had it taken yester and it was 145/84! Why would this happen? My GP did not say much but I have been having palpitations.
MEmememe Monday, February 04, 2013
How to read my BP, 110/90. Am I hypertensive? i'm already 50 years old, female. thanks
marty30 Monday, October 15, 2012
Medical professionals can use some pages to practice taking blood pressure using an online simulator.


rishigupta02445 Sunday, April 29, 2012
141-80. is that level consider high blood. Tq.
cosmas Sunday, April 01, 2012
my blood pressure is on always around 225 top number bottom 90 but last few weeks been 238 top bottom 146 i take medication but its not working its been like this for over 12 months im 41 years old female i do not smoke and only have odd drink glass of wine now and again have not had one since xmas how dangerous is this i dont feel very well always tired have no energy how is it affecting my health ?
malta Wednesday, March 07, 2012
My ex wife went to her doctor . her blood presure was 200 over 103. what should have been done?
zelmo Thursday, February 09, 2012
I am a 78 year old female. My blood pressure reads 180/50 and I get headaches [maily around the top most of my head], would my blood pressure be causing the headaches?
yoesse Wednesday, February 01, 2012
View all Comments

Ask an Expert

C
If you have a question about health related issues, you can now post it in our Ask An Expert section on our community website Medwonders.com and get answers from our panel of experts.
s High Blood Pressure - Symptoms and Diagnosis of High Blood Pressure
High Blood Pressure - Symptoms and Diagnosis of Hi...
S Hidradenitis Suppurativa - About
Hidradenitis Suppurativa - About