What is Hypertension?

Blood pressure above 140/90 constitutes hypertension. Increase in diastolic pressure is more important in the definition of hypertension.

Types of Hypertension (Diastolic)

1. Mild hypertension: Diastolic pressure between 90-104 mm Hg.

2. Moderatehypertension: Pressure between 105-114 mm Hg.

3. Severe hypertension: Pressure above 115 mm Hg.

4. Malignant hypertension: Pressure above 140 mm Hg.

Causes of Hypertension

1. Unknown: Essential hypertension (greater than 90% cases), toxemia pregnancy.
2. Renal: Chronic infection, acute and chronic inflammation of glomeruli, polycystic kidney disease, kidney infection, renal artery stenosis, tumors.
3. Endocrine: Oral contraceptives, adrenal gland dysfunctions, tumor of adrenal gland, hypoactivity of the thyroid gland (Myxedema).
4. Blood vessels: Constriction or narrowing of aorta, excessive transfusion, inflammation of arteries.

Risk Factors for Hypertension

1. Black race.
2. Male sex.
3. Smoking.
4. Diabetes.
5. High blood cholesterol.
6. Obesity

Effects of Hypertension

1. Cardiac – Enlarged heart, heart failure, heart attack.
2. Eyes – Hemorrhage within retina, edema.
3. Kidney – Decreased functions.
4. Brain – Strokes.

Management of Hypertension

1. Change of lifestyle.
2. Switch to low fat diet
3. Exercises.
4. Avoid stress.
5. Stop smoking.
6. Lose weight.
7. Consult a doctor for drug therapy.

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