High Blood Pressure

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High Blood Pressure

Hypertension is a major cause of cerebrovascular accident, cardiac disease, and renal failure.  Treating hypertension and the underlying cause before complications develop greatly improves the patient's prognosis.  Severely elevated blood pressure may become fatal if left untreated.

Cause:  There is no single cause for essential hypertension.  Secondary hypertension may be caused by renal vascular disease, Cushin's syndrome, primary hyperaldosteronism, or dysfunction of the thyroid, pituitary, or parathyroid glands.  It may also be a result from a neurologic disorders, pregnancy, and coarctation of the aorta.

Risk factors for hypertension may include:  Family history of hypertension, Race, stress, obesity, high dietary intake of saturated fats or sodium, tobacco use, oral contraceptive use, aging and, sedentary life style.

Symptoms:

Serial blood pressure measurements of more than 140/90 mm Hg confirm hypertension.
Other signs and symptoms do not appear until complications develop from vascular changes.

Treatment:

Essential hypertension has no cure, however, modifications in diet and life style as well as medication therapy can control it.

Medication therapy may consist of:  Diuretic, Beta adrenergic blockers, other sympathetic blockers, or vasodilators may be used.  Therapy may also include angiotensin converting enzyme and calcium channel blockers.

Life style and dietary changes may include:  weight loss, relaxation techniques, regular exercise, and restriction of sodium and saturated fat intake.

For secondary hypertension includes:  correcting the underlying cause and controlling hypertensive effects.

also known as Hypertension:  persistently high arterial blood pressure - refers to an intermittent or sustained elevation in diastolic ( the dilation, or the period of dilation, of the heart, especially of the ventricles) or systolic blood pressure (the contraction, or period of contraction, of the heart, especially of the ventricles).  Essential, or idiopathic, hypertension occurs most commonly.  Secondary hypertension results from numerous disorders.

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