Hypertension; Facts You Need


Hypertension is derived from two root words; Meaning Hyper high voltage and sense of pressure. Hypertension simply means high blood pressure. The pressure is the force generated when the heart contracts and pump blood through the blood vessels that lead blood to various parts of the blood.

Although high blood pressure does not mean, or the result of excessive emotional tension, but the evidence shows that stress and emotional strain they cause increased blood pressure, and if it continues, could be supported.
High blood pressure is therefore generally defined as a blood pressure greater than 140 / 90mmHg confirmed on several occasions. The upper number (140) is called the systolic pressure, and represents the pressure in the blood vessels (arteries) such as the heart contracts and pumps blood into circulation. The bottom number (90) is called the diastolic pressure, and represents the pressure in the blood vessels as the heart relaxes after the contraction. These data measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) reflect the high pressures and lower the heart and blood vessels are exposed during circulation. The normal value generally accepted for blood pressure is 120 / 80mmHg. Above this value, but less than 140 / 90mmHg is considered hypertensive but still warning signs, so it is called high normal.

A high blood pressure (hypertension) increases the risk of developing heart (cardiac), diseases such as heart failure and stroke, kidney disease, vascular disease as athelosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of blood vessels), eye damage, and stroke ( brain damage).
These complications called End organ damage arise as a result of long-standing hypertension (chronic). But the victims of hypertension are not aware, at an early stage, they have the disease until these complications start to appear. This is because hypertension shows virtually no signs / symptoms early on. For this reason, it is generally referred to as the 'silent killer'.

The damage caused by hypertension gravity increases with the increase of blood pressure. On the basis of this hypertension can be classified as follows:

CATEGORY systolic (mmHg) DIASTOLIC (mmHg)
Normal Less than 130 Less than 85
High Normal 130-139 85-89
Mild hypertension 140-159 90-99
Moderate hypertension 160-179 100-109
Severe hypertension 180-209 110-119
Very Severe hypertension Greater than 210 Greater than 120


Borderline hypertension is defined as moderately elevated blood pressure that is found to be greater than 140 / 90mmHg at certain periods and lower than that at other times.

Patients with borderline values ​​need to have their blood pressure checked more frequently. They also need to assess organ damage in order to be aware of the significance of their hypertension.

It must, however, be noted that patients with borderline hypertension have a greater tendency to develop a more sustained hypertension as they age. They stand a low risk of having heart disease related. Close monitoring of their blood pressure and lifestyle may be very useful in this regard.

White coat hypertension

A single elevated blood pressure reading in the doctor's office may be misleading because the elevation may be temporary. The evidence over the years has shown that anxiety related to stress and the fear of examination result often result in blood pressure elevation observed only in the doctor's. In fact, it has been suggested that one in four people thought to have mild hypertension, can actually have normal blood pressure outside the doctor's office. This type of high blood pressure seen in the doctor's is called 'white coat hypertension'. Suggesting that the mantle white symbol of the physician, induces anxiety of the patient and an increase of passage of the blood pressure. Consequently, monitoring of blood pressure at home, when in a mood more relaxed, can provide a more reliable estimate of the frequency and / or consistency of the blood pressure changes.

What are the causes of hypertension?

Blood pressure is determined by two major parameters; Cardiac output that is the volume of blood pumped by the heart, and total peripheral resistance ie the resistance of the blood vessels through which blood flows. Hypertension is therefore a final result of a greater pumping force of the heart, or constriction / narrowing of the blood vessels causing increased resistance to blood flow, or both.
Using the cause of hypertension as a meter, two main types of hypertension can be described;

Essential hypertension

Secondary hypertension

The also called primary hypertension or idiopathic former is by far the most common type of hypertension. It represents over 90% of all cases of hypertension. No clear the cause of the cut (s) can be identified for this type of arrangement, from which the name idiopathic.

The subsequent accounts for less than 10% of all cases. In this case, hypertension is secondary to an existing anomaly in one or more systems or organs of the body. The most common causes are reported kidney and hormonal problems. Uncontrolled use persistent contraceptives, especially in females over 35 years of fall under hormonal causes of hypertension.

Since no clear cause (s) can be adduced for the most common types of hypertension, as with the case of most of the non-communicable diseases, then we talk in terms of "risk factors" and not the causes. These risk factors are actions / inactions that increases your chance of getting a disease. Several studies over the years have shown that certain factors are directly or indirectly linked to the occurrence of hypertension. Some of the factors include:

HEREDITARY: High blood pressure tends to run in some families and breeds. It is believed that some inherited traits predispose some people to hypertension. For example, high blood pressure tends to be more common in blacks than whites.

A family history of high blood pressure increases a likelihood of high blood pressure. Regular monitoring of blood pressure becomes very vital.
HIGH SALT INTAKE: high intake of sodium chloride (table salt) is to be linked to high blood pressure. The condition develops primarily in companies or communities that have a rather high consumption of salt, surpassing 5.8grams newspaper. In fact, salt intake may be particularly important in relation to the essential hypertension that is associated with age, racial background black, hereditary predisposition, obesity and kidney failure. Research has shown that:

to. Increase in blood pressure with age is directly related to increasing the level of intake of sitting, especially in blacks.

b. People who consume little sodium chloride develop without high blood pressure when they consume more, appears hypertension.

c. The increase of sodium is located in the blood vessels and the blood of the majority of hypertensive patients.

By reducing the consumption of salt it is therefore a sensible step in the prevention of hypertension


There is a close relationship between hypertension and obesity. In fact it is believed that most hypertensive are more than 10% overweight. The accumulation of fat in the trunk or abdomen is linked not only hypertension but also to diabetes and hyperlipideamia (excess fat in the body). Obesity can contribute to hypertension in several ways. For one thing, obesity leads to increased production of blood, because the heart has to pump more blood to supply the excess tissues. The increase in cardiac output may then raise blood pressure. On the other hand, obese hypertensive individuals have a greater stiffness (resistance) in the peripheral arteries throughout the body. Finally, obesity can be associated with a tendency for the kidneys to retain salt in the body. Weight loss can help reverse the problems related to obesity, which also reduces blood pressure. It has been estimated that the blood pressure can be decreased 0.32mmHg for every 1 kg (2.2pounds) weight loss.

The international standard for measuring overweight and obesity is based on a value called BODY MASS INDEX (BMI). This value is calculated by dividing body weight (in kilograms) by the square of height (in meters).

ie BMI = body weight (kg)

Height2 (meters).
Note: 1 foot = 0.305metres.
For adults, a body mass index less than 25 kg / m2 is preferred.
25 - 29 kg / m2 is considered overweight and above 30 kg / m2 is obesity.

Lack of exercise:

Normal sedentary individuals have a 20-50% higher risk of developing hypertension compared with individuals very active. Exercise reduces both systolic and diastolic pressure. For example dynamic exercises like brisk walking or jogging, swimming or cycling to release 30 to 45 minutes a day or 3-5times a week can lower blood pressure by as much as 5 to 15 mmHg. Moreover, there seems to be a relationship between the amount of exercise and the extent to which it lowers the blood pressure. So, at some point, the more you exercise, the lower the blood pressure. Provided that not more than force yourself. Normally, a particular type of exercise is started, and gradually built to a satisfactory level over time. Regular exercise reduces blood pressure, burn out unnecessarily fat and also makes the body healthier.

Alcohol and smoking:

These two are the social factors more related to high blood pressure. People who drink alcohol excessively (more than two drinks a day) have a one and a half to two times increase in the frequency of hypertension. The association between alcohol and high blood pressure becomes particularly evident when alcohol intake exceeds the above daily. Also, the connection is a phenomenon related to the dose. In other words, the more alcohol consumed, the stronger the likelihood of hypertension. This probably explains the prevalence of hypertension in populations where consumption of alcohol is a habit.

Although smoking increases the risk of vascular complications (for example, heart disease and stroke) in people who already have hypertension, it can not be directly connected with increase in the development of hypertension. However, smoking a cigarette can repeatedly produce an immediate, temporary rise in blood pressure of 5 to 10 mmHg, but a permanent increase can not be established. However, it is known that some substances of cigarettes, such as nicotine, alters the composition of the blood and also affects the blood vessels.

Smoking and alcohol control are an integral part of any effort towards the primary control of cardiovascular disease in a population.
STRESS: Although the role of stress and other emotional factors in hypertension is difficult to define. However, it is known that stress causes a physiological increase in blood pressure and this could be supported if the stress becomes chronic (prolonged).


Since the components of lifestyle, such as eating habits, obesity, physical activity, alcohol and smoking have been recognized as important risk factors, measures to reduce the occurrence of high blood pressure or to relieve the condition (for those who are hypertensive) should involve modification lifestyle.

Dietary modifications include limiting salt intake by reducing or cutting out alcohol, reduce your fat intake, and reducing weight if overweight. The American Heart Association recommends a daily intake of less than 6grams of table salt for normal people, and less than 4grams for hypertension.

A program of regular exercise, such as brisk walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, etc.
for 30 to 45 minutes every day or 3-5 times a week could be very useful.

In conclusion, it is very important to remember that the only way to know if his blood pressure is on the high side is frequently taking blood pressure. Normally, the doctor would have done for you. But for a more consistent and reliable monitor blood pressure, a blood pressure monitor self-managed is crucial. Being very handy and always around, it allows you to follow your blood pressure and immediately report an increase.

Finally, always remember the slogan that "know your blood pressure if it's high treated him." A healthy heart adds life to years.
A point in time, it is said, saves nine.

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