Jan 7, 2016

Hypertension – Its Symptoms, Risks and Treatments

Hypertension is a condition of having high blood pressure. It is very common and is the major cause of morbidity & mortality.


The term hypertension means elevation in diastolic pressure, or systolic pressure. Elevation in either diastolic or systolic pressure represent a significant risk factor to a patient. Hypertension is often defined as a diastolic pressure of 90mm Hg or above or a systolic pressure of 140 mm Hg or above.

In most patients (90-95%) presenting with hypertension, the cause is unknown. This condition is called Primary hypertension. The remaining 5-10% of hypertensive patients have hypertension that results secondarily from renal disease, endocrine disorders, or other causes. This form of hypertension is called Secondary hypertension.

Hypertension is much more than “cardiovascular” disease as it affects other organs of the body such as :–

  • Heart—leads to heart attack and heart failure
  • Brain—leads to stroke and internal bleeding
  • Kidneys—leads to renal failure and the need for dialysis
  • Eyes—leads to blindness
  • Peripheral Blood Vessels—leads to limping and tissue death (gangrene)
  • If left untreated , the disease will progress and will eventually lead to death.

Hypertension is a Silent Killer disease without apparent symptoms yet the body is slowly being destroyed by high blood pressure.

A WHO sample study claims that one in every four senior citizens in the national capital suffers from hypertension. The findings are quite alarming—the incidence of hypertension was found to be about 25%. Epidemiological studies show a steadily increasing trend in the prevalence of hypertension across India over the last 40 years in contrast to the developed countries where a significant decrease has occurred

The prevalence of heart disease in urban areas in India is now between 15-30% which is four fold higher than in USA. A rapid increase in stroke mortality has also been reported. Hypertension and stroke occur at a relatively younger age in India. Indians develop coronary artery disease 5-10 years earlier than people in united states. Higher socioeconomic groups have a greater incidence of hypertension and coronary heart disease in India

  • Hypertension is a big problem in Philippinesas it has 21% prevalence rate. Roughly 8.6 million Filipions are hypertensive
  • It affects around 50 million Americans of which about 30% are not yet diagnosed
  • Hypertension is an under diagnosed disease because it causes damage to the body with no symptoms or mild symptoms.

Symptoms of hypertension includes :-

  • No symptoms or mild or vague symptoms Headache (morning headache) Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Papilloedema
  • Symptoms due to complications of hypertension eg. heart disease, Kidney disease, eye disease etc.
  • Sleep Apnea

Who are at risk ?

  • Smokers
  • Over weight persons
  • In take of salty, fried or greasy food
  • Alcoholics
  • Those under stress “Sit down” life style Man above 35 yrs.
  • Family history of hypertension
  • If your cholesterol level is over 200 mg/dl
  • Diabetics
  • Heart or renal failure patients
  • You had a stroke

Ways for a healthy lifestyle :-

  • Exercise regularly
  • Watch your weight
  • Keep stress under control
  • Avoid salty and fatty foods
  • Avoid too much of caffeine
  • Limit alcohol intake
  • Stop smoking
  • Take your medication properly

A frequent cause of failure to control blood pressure is the use of inappropriately low dosages of drugs inevitably leads to multiple drug regimens. Combination therapies containing a diuretic are More effective .The new combinations of angiotens in converting enzyme inhibitors and calcium channel blockers offer promise to control hypertension.

Diagnostic Tests recommended & available at LPL*:–

  1. Routine urinalysis a blood cell count
  2. Comprehensive Lipid
  3. Profile *KFT
  4. Diabetic profile
  5. Calcium
  6. ECG
  7. BP Check regularly

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