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What is Hypertension?158 Views
Consequences Of High Blood Pressure will start in
Kidney damage, stroke and heart disease are some of the consequences of high blood pressure. But they can often be prevented. Find out more in this video.
Description: What is hypertension? Hypertension is commonly known as high blood pressure. If untreated, this condition can lead to heart disease. Get more information by watching this video.
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One in four Americans has high blood pressure, and almost half of them don’t even know it! Let’s take a closer look at this common condition. To truly understand high blood pressure—or hypertension as it’s known in the medical community—it helps to have a basic knowledge of the circular path through which blood flows. Normally, blood leaves the heart through arterioles, which then taper into small capillaries and supply the body with oxygen. The blood finishes its circular journey by returning to the heart. On occasion, various factors can cause the arterioles to narrow. When this occurs, the heart has to work harder to pump blood through the smaller opening. This is high blood pressure. It’s easy to ignore the threat of hypertension. San Francisco 49ers great, Joe Montana, certainly wasn’t worried about this condition—he was too busy leading his team to four Super Bowl victories! But despite his active lifestyle, Joe did have high blood pressure. Because hypertension is often asymptomatic, Joe wasn’t even aware of the problem until after his retirement. Due to cases like this, doctors have nicknamed high blood pressure, “the silent killer.” Not getting treatment for hypertension is bad news, because up to 70 percent of strokes are a direct result of the condition! Plus, high blood pressure contributes to heart attacks and kidney failure. To sidestep these consequences, a doctor should test your blood pressure at every check-up. Blood pressure is measured in two ways. One measurement refers to systolic pressure, which records blood pressure when the heart is contracting. The other measures diastolic pressure, or the force when the heart is relaxed. Blood pressure measurement is usually written as systolic over diastolic and provides the basis for determining whether a patient’s blood pressure is in the healthy range, or if it’s at dangerously high. Optimal blood pressure is below 120 over 80, while a measure above 140 over 90 is classified as hypertension. Blood pressure that lies in the middle is called pre-hypertension, and means that the patient is at risk of developing high blood pressure. In 95 percent of cases the cause of high blood pressure is unknown, but there ARE certain risk factors that increase your chances of developing hypertension. Among those with a higher hypertension risk are people with a family history of high blood pressure, people over the age of 40, those who are overweight or sedentary, women who take birth control pills and African-Americans. The only way to know for sure if you have hypertension is to visit your doctor regularly. Because hypertension is the precursor for many heart diseases, it is important to get checked at every visit. Becoming aware of the severity of high blood pressure, and actively being tested for it will help to ensure that the “silent killer” isn’t silent in YOUR life.