Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

ATS publishes new clinical guideline on home oxygen for children

The American Thoracic Society has developed a new clinical practice guideline for home oxygen therapy for children. The guideline appears in the Feb. 1 edition of the Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical ...

Alzheimer's disease & dementia

Intensive BP treatment does not reduce dementia risk

(HealthDay)—Treating systolic blood pressure (BP) to a goal of less than 120 mm Hg rather than 140 mm Hg does not result in a significant reduction in the risk for probable dementia, according to a study published online ...

Cardiology

Zinc deficiency may play a role in high blood pressure

Lower-than-normal zinc levels may contribute to high blood pressure (hypertension) by altering the way the kidneys handle sodium. The study is published ahead of print in the American Journal of Physiology—Renal Physiology.

Cardiology

Home-based hypertension program produces 'striking' results

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a widespread clinical problem affecting nearly half of all adults. Despite the serious consequences that can result from hypertension, which puts patients at increased risk for heart ...

Gerontology & Geriatrics

No increased fall risk with HTN treatment in older women

(HealthDay)—Treating high blood pressure (BP) is not associated with an increased fall risk among older women, according to a study published online Jan. 7 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Obstetrics & gynaecology

ACOG updates guidelines for gestational HTN, preeclampsia

(HealthDay)—The American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists (ACOG) has updated its guidance on the management of gestational hypertension and preeclampsia as well as chronic hypertension in pregnant women; the two ...

Cardiology

New BP treatment cutoffs may not yield survival benefit

(HealthDay)—New blood pressure treatment recommendations may not improve survival from cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to a study recently published in the European Heart Journal.

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Hypertension

Hypertension, also referred to as high blood pressure, HTN or HPN, is a medical condition in which the blood pressure is chronically elevated. In current usage, the word "hypertension" without a qualifier normally refers to systemic, arterial hypertension.

Hypertension can be classified as either essential (primary) or secondary. Essential hypertension indicates that no specific medical cause can be found to explain a patient's condition. About 90-95% of hypertension is essential hypertension. Secondary hypertension indicates that the high blood pressure is a result of (i.e., secondary to) another condition, such as kidney disease or tumours (adrenal adenoma or pheochromocytoma).

Persistent hypertension is one of the risk factors for strokes, heart attacks, heart failure and arterial aneurysm, and is a leading cause of chronic renal failure. Even moderate elevation of arterial blood pressure leads to shortened life expectancy. At severely high pressures, defined as mean arterial pressures 50% or more above average, a person can expect to live no more than a few years unless appropriately treated. Beginning at a systolic pressure (which is peak pressure in the arteries, which occurs near the end of the cardiac cycle when the ventricles are contracting) of 115 mmHg and diastolic pressure (which is minimum pressure in the arteries, which occurs near the beginning of the cardiac cycle when the ventricles are filled with blood) of 75 mmHg (commonly written as 115/75 mmHg), cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk doubles for each increment of 20/10 mmHg.

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