Health A to Z Last updated on 2022-04-09 20:19:09
How Hypertension Is A Silent Killer
- Dr. Srividya Kalavagunta
- 3 Min Read
The global prevalence of hypertension is high, yet more than 50% of the hypertensive population worldwide are unaware of their condition. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for medical conditions like heart disease, stroke, chronic kidney disease, and vascular disease. Blood pressure (BP) is measured as two numbers referred to as the systolic and diastolic blood pressure, both measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg). For example, if someone had a blood pressure reading of say 128/76, the ‘128’ here refers to the systolic pressure which is the force at which your heart pumps blood around your body. The ‘76’ in this reading refers to the diastolic pressure which is the resistance to the blood flow in the blood vessels. Hypertension is a condition wherein the systolic BP is greater than or equal to 130 mmHg and/or the diastolic BP is greater than 80 mmHg. Risk factors
- Age: The risk of hypertension increases as one grows old. With age, the blood vessels gradually lose some of their elastic quality, which contributes to increased blood pressure.
- Family history: If your parents or first-degree relatives have high blood pressure, there are chances that you might get it too.
- Being overweight: This is a risk factor for a host of other conditions like dyslipidemia which can cause narrowing of your vessels leading to hypertension.
- Using tobacco: Smoking or chewing tobacco can damage the lining of your artery walls, which results in your arteries narrowing thus increasing your risk of heart disease.
- Stress: High levels of stress, or not getting enough sleep can lead to temporary high blood pressure. If you try to relax by smoking or drinking alcohol, you will only compound your problems with high blood pressure.
- Too much salt (sodium) in your diet: This causes retention of fluid, which increases the volume of blood in the bloodstream. Increased blood volume leads to more work for the heart and more pressure on the arteries.
- Certain chronic conditions: Chronic kidney disease, diabetes, and sleep apnea can also cause high blood pressure.
- Heart attacks
- Heart failure
Consult a Cardiologist
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