Hypertension means increased pressure created by the heart, which has long-term effects on the blood vessels. The heart is responsible for pumping blood throughout the body. It needs enough pressure to supply blood to every part of the body and push it back to the heart against gravity for a clean-up. This process is known as the cardiac cycle. The moment when the heart contracts to push blood is called Systole and is when the higher number in the blood pressure reading is recorded. Diastole is when the heart relaxes and coincides with the lower number recording during a blood pressure measurement. The measurement unit for recording blood pressure is millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). Higher blood pressure is a combination of the force of the heart and the narrowness of the vessels it will travel through.
Hypertension can be classified as primary and secondary. Primary or Essential hypertension means are having a blood pressure higher than 140/90 without apparent causes. Genetics, ethnicity, and lifestyle factors have been significant risk factors for primary hypertension. Long-term physical and mental stress can also cause the body to have persistently high blood pressure. Secondary hypertension results from preexisting conditions such as; Diabetes, Cardiovascular diseases, Kidney disorders, and metabolic requirements.
Most people with high blood pressure show no symptoms, and a high blood pressure reading is often made incidentally or during screening. This is why getting your blood pressure checked periodically is so essential. Some people might have headaches, nausea and vomiting, visual disturbances, dizziness, and nose bleeding.
In the case of secondary hypertension, the symptoms of the disease that causes hypertensive changes in the body vary according to the choice. However, all chronic syndromes that involve multiple organ systems of the body often end in situations of multi-organ failure if left untreated.
The main risk factors for hypertension include:
According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 1.28 billion adults aged 30-79 years worldwide have hypertension. An estimated 46% of adults with hypertension are unaware of their condition. Less than half of the adult population (42%) with hypertension is diagnosed and treated. Approximately 1 in 5 adults (21%) with hypertension have it under control. Hypertension is a significant cause of premature death worldwide.
The diagnosis of Hypertension is based on the monitoring of your blood pressure. A healthcare provider usually does this. The process starts with your doctor taking your medical history, followed by a medical examination. The first step of any medical examination is bringing the vital signs, including pulse rate, Respiratory rate, temperature, and blood pressure. The health care provider will place an inflatable arm cuff around your arm and measure your blood pressure using a pressure-measuring gauge. Ideally, blood pressure should be measured from both arms to note any differences. It's essential to use an appropriately sized arm cuff.
Hypertension is mainly based on clinical diagnosis and assessment. A blood pressure of more than 140/90 on atleast three separate occasions is used to diagnose the condition. However, because the condition involves multiple organ systems in the human body, the following laboratory tests can be performed to rule out any complications related to the condition:
The treatment of hypertension includes a combination of lifestyle modifications, regular monitoring, and medications.
Based on the individual conditions, doctors can choose the medicine from the following. Combinations of various drugs are often more helpful in situations that resist the usual medication
Our clinical experts continually monitor the health and medical content posted on CURA4U, and we update our blogs and articles when new information becomes available. Last reviewed by Dr.Saad Zia on May 21, 2023.
High Blood Pressure Symptoms and Causes | cdc.gov