Medical research

Treatment to ward off stroke less effective in women

Women are at higher risk for stroke and have different stroke symptoms than men. New research suggests another difference: less benefit from a surgery used to treat carotid artery disease, a key risk factor for stroke.

Health

Healthy aging with an online coach

Older people can improve their lifestyle and adopt healthier behaviors with the support of an online coach. This can help reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease and dementia. An international group of researchers, led ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

PTSD linked to increased heart disease risk among female veterans

Female veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have more heart disease risk factors, including obesity, at younger ages than female veterans without PTSD, according to preliminary research to be presented at the ...

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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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