This ‘World Hypertension Day’ we aim to raise awareness about the condition caused by high blood pressure. Hypertension is diagnosed by measuring the patient’s blood pressure. Some symptoms among hypertensives may include headaches, shortness of breath or nose bleeds, however, many people may not show any signs. A study conducted at the The Johns Hopkins Institute demonstrated that the risk of developing the condition during adulthood significantly increases, if one or both parents had the condition. Researchers stated that approximately 35% to 65% of high blood pressure is inherited.

Increased risks due to parental hypertension

The study examined 1,160 men by asking them to fill out questionnaires about family medical history, dietary and health habits. The results showed that early-onset hypertension among both parents, increased the risk of their children developing the condition, during adulthood, by 6.2-fold. The risk was 20-fold, for developing the condition by the age of 35. The researcher’s concluded:

“Our findings emphasize the importance of asking patients about parental hypertension to identify those who are at high risk of developing hypertension, especially at a young age, for both population-based and individual-level interventions… the importance of primary prevention and blood-pressure monitoring early in life in men with parental hypertension, especially those who have a parent with early-onset hypertension.”

Stages of Hypertension

Awareness towards the condition is essential to tackle it. Blood pressure is calculated by measuring the systolic and diastolic pressures. Systolic pressure is the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats, to pump blood to the rest of the body, and diastolic pressure is the pressure between the beats. The measurements that determine whether the patient is hypertensive or not fall into the following categories:

  • 120/80 mmHg – Normal Blood Pressure
  • 120-139/80-80 mmHg – Pre-hypertension
  • 140-159/90-99 mmHg – Stage 1 Hypertension
  • >160/>100 mmHg – Stage 2 Hypertension

Hypertension Treatment

Once you have been diagnosed by the condition, it is essential to undergo treatment to prevent multiple organ failure, in the future. There are several types of medication that treat high blood pressure, including thiazide diuretics, beta blockers, ACE inhibitors, ARBs, calcium channel blockers, etc. Depending on your condition a physician will prescribe one or more medicines in your treatment plan. Medicines for metabolic diseases need to be consumed throughout one’s life if you have been diagnosed with essential hypertension.

It is essential to make lifestyle changes as well as consume medicines, to prevent further progression of the condition. Some of these changes include:

  • Exercising regularly
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Lowering salt levels in the diet
  • Limiting alcohol consumption
  • Quitting smoking
  • Maintaining a healthy weight

Due to the nature of the disorder, regulated treatment from a doctor is important to prevent stroke, aneurysms, heart failure, kidney failure and other life-threatening diseases. If you are worried that you may be experiencing signs of hypertension, consult a doctor today.

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