April 11, 2023
- Is a blood pressure higher than 140 over 90 mmHg (millimeters of mercury).
- One or both readings can be high, either the first, systolic reading (the pressure as the heart pumps blood around the body) or the diastolic one (as the heart relaxes and refills with blood).
- Modern lifestyle factors are responsible for a growing burden of hypertension: physical inactivity, salt-rich diets with processed and fatty foods, alcohol and tobacco use.
- The American Heart Association (AHA) has provided the ranges of blood pressure (in mmHg):
- Normal blood pressure is below 120 systolic and below 80 diastolic.
- Prehypertension is 120-139 systolic or 80-89 diastolic
- Stage 1 high blood pressure (hypertension) is 140-159 systolic or 90-99 diastolic
- Stage 2 high blood pressure (hypertension) is 160 or higher systolic or 100 or higher diastolic
- Hypertension crisis (a medical emergency) is when blood pressure is above systolic or above 110 diastolic.
- Hypertension itself does not cause symptoms but in the long-term leads to complications caused by narrowing of blood vessels.
Causes of hypertension
- The readings of the high blood pressure stay above normal all the time but having high blood for a short amount of time is normal.
- Blood pressure has a natural variation- it lowers during sleep and rises on awakening and also rises in response to excitement, anxiety and physical activity.
- The increase of blood pressure can be because of lifestyle factors, including:
- Physical inactivity
- A salt-rich diet thr
ough processed and fatty foods
- Alcohol and tobacco
- High blood pressure that has no known cause is termed primary hypertension (or essential hypertension)
- Primary hypertension is unlikely to have a specific cause but multiple factors, including blood plasma volume and activity of the renin-angiotensin system, the hormonal regulator of blood volume and pressure
- Secondary hypertension are caused by Kidney disease, Pheochromocytoma (a cancer), Cushing syndrome (which can be caused by use of corticosteroid drugs), Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (disorder of the adrenal glands, which secrete the hormone cortisol) and Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland).
When does HBP require emergency medical treatment?
- High blood pressure often does its damage without creating symptoms, but when blood pressure numbers rises above 180 for the systolic pressure or 110 for the diastolic pressure, you need emergency treatment.
When is blood pressure too low?
- Although it is possible that low blood pressure can alert you to a problem, it is usually only dangerous if causes notable signs and symptoms.
What is the difference between blood pressure and heart rate?
- Blood pressure is the amount of force exerted on your arteries when your heart beats and your heart rate is the number of times per minute your heart beats.
What causes low blood pressure?
- Low blood pressure can occur with prolonged bed rest, pregnancy, decreases in blood volume, certain mediation, Severe infection, allergic reaction (anaphylaxis), nutritional deficiencies, Severe infection (septic shock), heart and endocrine problems.
Why Blood pressure matters?
- Yes, uncontrolled high blood pressure (HBP) can injure or kill you. Its sometimes called “the silent killer” because HBP has no symptoms, so you may not be aware that it’s damaging your arteries, heart and other organs.