Hypertension or high blood pressure has implications in most of the world’s deaths. And, due to its lack of symptoms is often unseen.
What is hypertension?
Blood pressure measurement is one of the core elements to define the cardiovascular condition of a patient. Given that several factors determine normal blood pressure in the body, such as heart functionality and healthy artery vessels. A regular pressure means good heart and artery health.
Blood flows out of the heart, directly from a large artery vessel called the aorta. This mechanism takes place with every heartbeat. It delivers to the core and distant tissues the essential oxygen. Blood needs to slip through blood vessels (the tiny arteries) to reach its final destination. However, every muscle contraction that those small arteries can apply will utterly cause the blood flow to stagnate. That stagnation increases the blood pressure backward. Ultimately, leading the heart to push harder in order to blood surpass the tiny artery’s barrier. The vascular pressure measure is in length-based units of millimeters of mercury (mm Hg).
All of these processes are very dynamic and under regulation. In everyday situations, this settles to a systolic pressure (when the heart is beating) and diastolic pressure (when the heart is loose) of 120- and 80-mm Hg, respectively.
Hypertension would mean a dysregulation of the normal process. High blood pressure occurs when a systolic and diastolic blood pressure are equal or above 140- and 90-mm Hg correspondingly. And, also having a normal blood pressure but with the use of antihypertensive treatments.
What are the different types of high blood pressure?
Thanks to the latest advancements, several types of hypertension have been described. The type of high blood pressure would depend on a blood pressure measurement, both with your physician and in-home locate.
Patients with normal blood pressure invariably yield blood pressure within normal ranges in both situations without antihypertensive treatment. Patients with controlled hypertension have normal blood pressure in both cases. But only with antihypertensive therapy. Masked hypertension means that patients have normal blood pressure in the physician’s office but elevated at home. And, white coat hypertension implies an increase in the blood pressure only at the physician’s office. This latter term is exclusively for patients not receiving antihypertensive treatment. Finally, uncontrolled hypertension is high blood pressure in both your physician’s office and home.
Why hypertension occurs?
The reason why hypertension occurs is unknown in the vast majority of cases. Only in 1 or less from every ten patients, there is an underlying cause. Therefore, high blood pressure classification is according to its cause, in primary or essential hypertension (when no reason is known) or secondary hypertension (an underlying disease is causing hypertension).
Essential hypertension has a complex origin between various interacting factors, such as genetics and environmental. However, hypertension in overall is a lack of the tiny arteries aforementioned, specifically ones called “arterioles” to unwind when the blood is flowing through them.
Secondary hypertension, even though justifying only a minor portion of the cases. It is often a treatable condition that, when well-handled, could even reverse the hypertension state without further antihypertensive treatment.
The most common causes of secondary hypertension in adults over 65 years are atherosclerotic renal artery stenosis, renal failure, and hypothyroidism. Some features suggest that the patient is probably having secondary hypertension, such as severe hypertension that does not respond to treatment, or early-onset (before 30 years). Additionally, patients with a significant increase in serum creatinine that occurs within one week of initiating standard antihypertensive treatment (angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor or angiotensin receptor blocked) must be lookout closer for possible kidney-related hypertension.
Other causes of secondary hypertension exist, although less common. The list includes hyperaldosteronism, obstructive sleep apnea, pheochromocytoma, Cushing syndrome, thyroid disease, coarctation of the aorta, and use of certain medications.
How many people are affected by this condition?
Hypertension is one of the most important preventable causes of premature death and cardiovascular disease globally. Countless studies continue to prove the benefits of lowering levels of blood pressure. A decrease in blood pressure levels overall has excellent success in reducing death. Therefore, high blood pressure is a core cardiovascular risk.
The diagnosis of hypertension is practically a routine. It is the most common primary diagnosis in the United States. A third of the general population of this country has this condition, even more, nearly two-thirds of the people aging from 60 to 69 years here have high blood pressure. This prevalence is something we should all concern. Hypertension has a well-known association with other threatening conditions such as a stroke, heart attack (myocardial infarction), vascular disease, and chronic kidney disease (kidney failure).
What is considered high blood pressure for older adults?
Hypertension stratification is according to the severity of tension elevation. The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) guidelines in 2017 classification is in normal, elevated blood pressure, stage 1 and 2 hypertension. A normal-tension would account for systolic blood pressure less than 120 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure less than 80 mm Hg. Tension elevation is a normal diastolic blood pressure; however, systolic blood pressure is between 120-129 mm Hg. Hypertension correct division is in stage 1 and 2, the former has systolic blood pressure between 130-139 mm Hg, and diastolic blood pressure between 80-89 mm Hg, while the latter would be a systolic blood pressure equal or greater to 140 mm Hg, and a diastolic blood pressure equal to or greater than 90 mm Hg.
However, for older adults, the assessment is different. There is a natural or expected tendency for older blood vessels walls to become stiffer. Hence, increasing blood pressure. For patients between 65 and 79 years, and beyond 85 years, hypertension needs to be greater than 140 mm Hg and 160 mm Hg systolic blood pressure correspondingly. Depending on specific factors, these patients need to have systolic blood pressure around 130 and 140 mm Hg in healthy conditions with or without treatment.
How high blood pressure is diagnosed?
A diagnosis of high blood pressure relies on a blood pressure reading in specific ways. This diagnosis was historically by the physician alone in its practice. However, now, these days is mandatory to indicate the patient to do it by himself. Because as we saw on the type of hypertension section, for defining the kind of hypertension. The specification of where the tension elevation was is core.
It is worthy to note that for diagnosing hypertension, an elevation of the tension needs to take place on three separate occasions. What does this mean? Well, it means that for getting a diagnosis, an average of two assessments after the first encounter with your doctor needs to occur. Therefore, having a one-time elevation of blood pressure not necessarily means that you have hypertension. Nonetheless, it would require further assessment for sure.
For measuring blood pressure at home, many gadgets exist. There are special tools that automatically record your blood pressure awaken and sleep, emitting helpful reports for your physician throughout the day. They commonly utilize this technique which name is “ambulatory blood pressure measurement” because it allows a complete assessment of the condition rather than just some isolated medical encounters.
Also, hypertension usually presents with other conditions. Some of them are diabetes, dyslipidemia, and obesity. When many of these conditions occur together, it means there is a metabolic disorder. The patient must acknowledge this situation because he tends to downplay its significance. Hypertension alone carries risks, but when another risk factor sums up immediately means trouble.
What are the symptoms?
Commonly, hypertension doesn’t generate symptoms in patients. It is mainly asymptomatic. When symptoms arise within hypertensive patients, it is hazardous. Given that, probably some damage is happening in the organs such as heart disease, brain illness, kidney disease, peripheral artery, and eye problems. Or exists another condition underneath.
In regards to the possible symptoms of hypertension alone, headache is a common referral by hypertensive patients. However, the current studies support that it is only a symptom when a quick elevation of the blood pressure occurs, with a systolic and diastolic BP of 180- and 120-mm Hg or higher, respectively. Or if the pain substantially resolves with the normalization of the blood pressure. When blood pressure arises more than 180- and 120-mm Hg, it is now an urgency/emergency hypertensive crisis. This crisis is a life-threatening situation where medical help needs to be immediate. If not, It substantially increases the mortality odds.
How is high blood pressure controlled?
Antihypertensive medication for hypertension, these days seems very promising. Practical cooperation between physicians and patients must take place employing approaches such as pharmacologic treatments, and others without any medication at all. To get excellent outcomes for the hypertensive patient under treatment is possible given to a demonstration of a reduction in the common complications such as congestive heart failure, stroke, and coronary artery disease, for naming some.
The pharmacologic treatment utilizes many types of drugs to lower blood pressure. The approach depends on the severity of hypertension and the specific features of the patient. Usually, African American and elderly patients have slightly different therapy due to its well-known challenging to manage resistant hypertension. The first line therapy group comprises angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors) and/or angiotensin-receptor blockers. Then, there are β-blockers, calcium-channel blockers, and diuretics. The overall general population starts treatment with the first line group, while the elderly and African American population starts with calcium channel blocker and diuretics.
The non-pharmacologic treatment encompasses lifestyle changes, including doing physical activity, discontinuing the consumption of tobacco, reducing fatty-food, among others. The drugs vary widely and depend upon the severity and other diseases of the patient. Generally, non-pharmacologic treatment would be the first or in combination treatment, depends on if it is a tension elevation or a definitive hypertension diagnosis, correspondingly. However, ultimately the treatment would focus upon the necessities and characteristics of each particular patient.
Do you are worried about having this condition? Test it!
Depending on many factors, you could probably have hypertension and not knowing it. This condition will utterly represent a real threat to your life. Please feel free to use a hypertension symptoms checker. That would help asses how likely it is that you may have this condition. Will it only take you a few minutes and the best of all? It is free!