Hypertension is considered to be a serious problem, and millions of people throughout the world are living with this problem. It is responsible for the high disability and mortality rate. In general terms, hypertension is known as high blood pressure. Blood pressure is defined as a force of blood pushing against the blood vessel walls. High blood pressure is a condition which occurs when the pressure in the arteries is higher than the normal level.
Normally, the blood pressure should be 120/80mm, but when the blood pressure is higher than 130/80, it is known as high blood pressure. Most often, high blood pressure has no signs or symptoms and this is one of the main reason why it can be dangerous. Many times, people living with high blood pressure are not aware of it. Therefore the management of blood pressure is extremely important. Regular checkup of the blood pressure is recommended.
Risk factors of high blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Physical inactivity
- Unhealthy diet
Hypertension is of two types – primary and secondary hypertension.
1. Primary hypertension – It is also known as essential hypertension and it means high blood pressure that results from an unknown cause. Most patients having high blood pressure have primary hypertension.
2. Secondary hypertension – It is a rare type of hypertension and it means there is a defined cause of high blood pressure.
High blood pressure is associated with many complications. High blood pressure becomes an emergency when it starts causing damage to the affected parts of the body. A person whose blood pressure is severely high requires immediate treatment. Some of the problems that can occur in people having high blood pressure include:
Hypertension is one of the most common risk factors of coronary heart disease and coronary heart disease is one of the leading cause of deaths. There is a strong relationship between high blood pressure and coronary heart disease. Coronary heart disease is a disease which occurs when the coronary arteries become narrowed. When there is a buildup of plaque inside the coronary arteries, it results in the narrowing of the arteries which leads to a reduced flow of blood in the arteries. Coronary artery plays a vital role in bringing oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to the heart muscles and whenever the coronary artery is partially blocked due to the buildup of plaque and is unable to carry enough blood to the heart muscle, it causes angina. And when the coronary artery is completely blocked, it causes a heart attack.
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Multiple studies have stated that hypertension or high blood pressure increases the risk of coronary heart disease. The prevalence of coronary heart disease is closely related to the blood pressure level, especially systolic blood pressure. There are various mechanisms that explain the correlation between hypertension and coronary heart disease. One of the mechanisms is that the anomalies in endothelial function increase the risk of coronary heart disease. Hypertension causes the alteration in the endothelium-dependent vascular relaxation, which is important to maintain the health of the heart.
Chronic kidney disease is a public health concern. Chronic kidney disease is a condition which occurs when the kidneys have been damaged and as a result, it fails to perform its functions. The primary function of kidneys is to remove waste and extra fluid out of the body. When the kidneys fail to perform its function normally, the waste can build to a high level in the blood and makes an individual sick. It is associated with various other health problems as well.
There are many causes of chronic kidney disease, but high blood pressure or hypertension is considered to be the leading cause of it. High blood pressure can cause damage to the blood vessels throughout the body and this can result in reduced blood supply to the important organs in the body, including the kidney. In order to remove extra waste and fluid from the body, the kidney contains tiny filtering units. High blood pressure can cause damage to these tiny filtering units. When these tiny filtering units are damaged, kidneys fail to remove waste from the body.
Multiple studies have been conducted to investigate the correlation between high blood pressure and the brain. It was observed that hypertension can alter brain function. According to one of the studies, mild cognitive impairment was found in people who had high blood pressure. One of the mechanisms that explains the relationship between the two problems is that high blood pressure damages the blood vessels that are important for the normal functioning of the brain. The cognitive function depends on the brain’s blood vessels and whenever the blood vessels of the brain are damaged, due to any reason, cognitive function is interrupted. There are many other mechanisms as well that explains the relationship between high blood pressure and impairment in brain function.
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