High Blood Pressure

Hypertension (HTN) or high blood pressure, sometimes arterial hypertension, is a chronic medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is elevated. This requires the heart to work harder than normal to circulate blood through the blood vessels. Blood pressure involves two measurements, systolic and diastolic, which depend on whether the heart muscle is contracting (systole) or relaxed (diastole) between beats. Normal blood pressure is at or below 120/80 mmHg. High blood pressure is said to be present if it is persistently at or above 140/90 mmHg.

Hypertension is classified as either primary (essential) hypertension or secondary hypertension; about 90–95% of cases are categorized as "primary hypertension" which means high blood pressure with no obvious underlying medical cause. The remaining 5–10% of cases (secondary hypertension) are caused by other conditions that affect the kidneys, arteries, heart or endocrine system.

Hypertension is a major risk factor for stroke, myocardial infarction (heart attacks), heart failure, aneurysms of the arteries (e.g. aortic aneurysm), peripheral arterial disease and is a cause of chronic kidney disease. Even moderate elevation of arterial blood pressure is associated with a shortened life expectancy. Dietary and lifestyle changes can improve blood pressure control and decrease the risk of associated health complications, although drug treatment is often necessary in patients for whom lifestyle changes prove ineffective or insufficient.

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA

Latest Spotlight News

How the brain makes decisions

Some types of decision-making have proven to be very difficult to simulate, limiting progress in the development of computer models of the brain. EPFL scientists have developed a new model of complex decision-making, ...

Study examines increase in calls to emergency services

As calls to emergency services increase, there is an urgent need for a reliable and consistent method of measuring whether or not these calls are appropriate. These are the findings from a University of Bristol ...

Memories influence choice of food

The stronger our memory is of a certain food, the more likely we are to choose it - even if it is the more unattractive option. Psychologists at the University of Basel conducted a study on how memory influences ...