Health

Plant-based diet protects from hypertension, preeclampsia

A plant-based diet appears to afford significant protection to rats bred to become hypertensive on a high-salt diet, scientists report. When the rats become pregnant, the whole grain diet also protects the mothers and their ...

Cardiology

NHS Health Checks are not helping people who need them most

According to a seven year study led by researchers at Queen Mary University of London, involving more than 3 million people, only 8% of those at greater risk of heart disease who would benefit from taking statins, were prescribed ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Improving heart health may reduce the severity of COVID-19 disease

High blood pressure, smoking, obesity, heart disease and diabetes are associated with worse outcomes in patients with COVID-19, according to a study published today in European Heart Journal—Quality of Care and Clinical ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

US deaths from heart disease and diabetes climbed amid COVID

The U.S. saw remarkable increases in the death rates for heart disease, diabetes and some other common killers in 2020, and experts believe a big reason may be that many people with dangerous symptoms made the lethal mistake ...

Health

Men's health threats and strategies for healthier living

Do you know the greatest threats to men's health? Do you know what you can do to lower your risks and lead a longer, healthier life? June is Men's Health Month, which makes this a good time to explore these topics.

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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.

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