Hypertension

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Hypertension

Hypertension (HTN or HT), also known as high blood pressure (HBP), is a long-term medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is persistently elevated. High blood pressure typically does not cause symptoms.

What causes hypertension?

Acute causes of high blood pressure include stress, but it can happen on its own, or it can result from an underlying condition, such as kidney disease. Unmanaged hypertension can lead to a heart attack, stroke, and other problems. Lifestyle factors are the best way to address high blood pressure.

There are four stages of high blood pressure or hypertension:

  • STAGE 1 or Prehypertension is 120/80 to 139/89.
  • STAGE 2 or Mild Hypertension is 140/90 to 159/99.
  • STAGE 3 or Moderate Hypertension is 160/100 to 179/109.
  • STAGE 4 or Severe Hypertension is 180/110 or higher.
  • What causes your blood pressure to suddenly get high?

What are the causes of high blood pressure?

Overuse of stimulating drinks such as tea, coffee and alcohol can cause sudden increase in the blood pressure in a short period. Increased weight, pain and hormonal imbalance can also be attributed to sudden increase in the blood pressure. In some cases, pregnancy can lead to high blood pressures at once.

How can hypertension be diagnosed?

The best way to diagnose high blood pressure (HBP or hypertension) is to have your blood pressure measured. A blood pressure reading is taken with a pressure cuff (sphygmomanometer). During the test, the cuff is placed around the upper arm before being manually or electronically inflated.

When should you be concerned about blood pressure?

More than 120 over 80 and less than 140 over 90 (120/80-140/90): You have a normal blood pressure reading but it is a little higher than it should be, and you should try to lower it. Make healthy changes to your lifestyle.

Suggest healthy lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet with less salt, maintaining a healthy weight and limiting how much alcohol you drink. Make changes to your high blood pressure medications to come up with the most effective combination and doses.

Initial first-line therapy for stage 1 hypertension includes thiazide diuretics, CCBs, and ACE inhibitors or ARBs. Two first-line drugs of different classes are recommended with stage 2 hypertension and average BP of 20/10 mm Hg above the BP target.

When should you medicate for high blood pressure?

130/80 to 139/89 (stage 1 hypertension): You might need medication. These numbers qualify as high blood pressure and you need to take action. But your doctor will probably suggest that you try out lifestyle changes first before adding drugs — unless you have other health problems.

How long can you live with untreated high blood pressure?

If left untreated, a blood pressure of 180/120 or higher results in an 80% chance of death within one year, with an average survival rate of ten months. Prolonged, untreated high blood pressure can also lead to heart attack, stroke, blindness, and kidney disease.