High blood pressure is the main cardiovascular risk factor: it affects almost half of men and four out of ten women. We tell you how to keep it under control and how it can be prevented.
Blood pressure is the force necessary for blood to circulate through the arterial vessels. Currently, there is consensus among experts to define hypertension as those blood pressure figures above 140/90, although it would be desirable to be at 130/80 as the upper limit.
Of these two figures, one or both may be high in hypertensive patients. So our blood pressure is high when it exceeds 140/90 mmHg. It is understood that we have normal blood pressure when the figure that we have measured is less than 120/80 mmHg. And if these blood pressure values are higher than 120/80 but do not reach 140/90, it is known as prehypertension, and you should start to take even more care.
High blood pressure is the main cardiovascular risk factor. It is known as ‘the silent killer because, in most cases, it does not present symptoms, so you can develop heart, brain, or kidney problems without being aware of suffering from hypertension.
Usually, if you had a problem with stress, your doctor will be reviewed frequently. In any case, especially if they have a family history or are suspected of having a problem with high blood pressure, they should be checked voltage levels so frequently and see your doctor if the figures are not within normal limits.
Causes of high blood pressure
There is no specific triggering cause of hypertension most of the time, which is why it is called primary hypertension or essential hypertension. 90-95% of hypertensive patients would be from this group. Despite not having a specific cause, it is known that there are conditions that increase the probability of developing arterial hypertension, such as advanced age –since blood vessels become stiffer as we age– and a family history of HT.
The presence of other diseases such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and obesity also predisposes you to suffer from high blood pressure (known as secondary hypertension ) and if you are a person who frequently suffers from stress or anxiety.
There is a smaller percentage of cases in which high blood pressure is secondary to some specific circumstance: alcohol consumption (especially in males), smoking, some drugs (corticosteroids, anti-inflammatories, contraceptives in women, antimigraine), kidney diseases, and other less common disorders.
Risks and complications of high blood pressure
Blood pressure is the main risk factor of cardiovascular diseases, affecting arterial vessels ( myocardial infarction, stroke). Prevention and its control are particularly essential to avoid stroke (both cerebral infarction and cerebral hemorrhage). Cardiovascular diseases are the main cause of death in our environment. Therefore, it is a priority that the population knows the risk factors and consequences of this disease to take the necessary measures to modify lifestyles and try to comply with treatment when the doctor starts it.
There are no zero risks, and there is no dividing line below which there is no risk, but the values at which we consider normal stress are those with the lowest risk of complications.
Complications of hypertension
Hypertension may be the first sign, and the easiest to measure, that many organs in the body are under attack and are at risk of injury. The early recognition of injuries, and the control and treatment of arterial hypertension, can delay the progression of cardiovascular diseases generated by it.
The main organs affected by high blood pressure are the heart, kidneys, brain, and arteries. In the heart, HTN is the main risk factor for diseases such as angina pectoris or myocardial infarction.
Uncontrolled high blood pressure over time can lead to kidney failure, which may require dialysis. In the kidneys, these can be a complication of HTN and the origin of the problem since they are considered one of the causes of secondary hypertension.
As mentioned previously, stroke and high blood pressure have a direct and powerful relationship. Thus, the incidence of stroke in some areas of Europe in recent years has decreased as greater control of HT has been achieved.
And as for the arteries, hypertension causes their deterioration causing hardening and narrowing that can cause a deficit in the irrigation of the different organs.
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