High Blood Pressure ( Hypertension )

Higher blood pressure is another major risk factor for a heart attack. It is found in about 500 per cent of men and 75 per cent in women with coronary heart digcagc.

Blood pressure is the pressure exerted by blood again%t the walls of the arteries through which it paggeg. Illood pressure is the highest when the heart contract% and pumps out blood into the arteries. This ig called gygt/)lic. Systole means heart contraction. The blood preggurc falJ8 to its lowest level when the heart ig relaxing. Thig ig called diastolic heart relaxation, Both these rcadingg are rccorded as the higher systolic preggure and the lower diastolic pressure, for example, 125/85. But there ig no clear cut line between normal and high blood preggure. Patients with higher than 90 mmHg preggure at lower levels are said to be suffering from hypertension.

The level of systolic pressure ig also important in agsessing arterial pressure’s influence on heart. Males with normal diastolic pressures (less than 82 mmHg) but elevated systolic pressures (more than 158 mrnflg) have a 2 1/2 fold increase in their cardiovascular mortality rates when compared with individuals with similar diastolic pressures but whose systolic pressures are normal (1088 than 130 mmHg). In an adult, hypertension is usually defined as a pressure greater than or equal to 150/90; in men under 45 years of age, a pressure grcatßr than or equal to 130/90 mmHg may be termed higher.

Blood pressure fluctuates in most persons, whether they are normotensive or hypertensive. Those who are declared as having labile hypertension are patients who sometimes have arterial pressures within the hypertensive range. These patients are often considered to have borderline hypertension.

How to control B.P

High Blood Pressure

There are various ways to control blood pressure. Kidney is the organ which regulates it. Stimuli frorn the nervous system and the hormonal secretions of various endocrinal glands of the body arc the factors which influence the blood preggure level by controlling the relaxation or contraction of thc smaller

arteries called arterioles. If the arterioles relax readily, the blood forced out by the heart can be accommodated in the vessels easily and there is no blood pressure.

But in case the arterioles do not relax readily then as the blood is forced into them by the heart the pressure in them rises and remains high. This increases blood pressure over a period of time.

Symptoms: It has been observed that in majority of cases of hypertension, blood pressure does not go up. It is detected by chance at the time of examination by a physician. Some patients have elevated pressure, some suffer from hypertensive vascular disease, and some from secondary hypertension.

Such patients suffer from headache, which is caused by severe hypertension, and is commonly localized to the back of the head, is felt when the patient wakes up in the morning, and subsides spontaneously after several hours. Other possible complaints are dizziness, palpitation and easy fatigability.

Complaints connected with vascular disease include epistaxis, blood in urine, blurring of vision owing to retinal changes, frequent weakness or dizziness due to transient cerebral ischaemia, angma pectoris, and dyspnoea due to heart failure.

There is a misconception that those having high B.P. do not live long. Studies have shown that more than 70 per cent of them in the borderline, ie if condition is mild, if the heart is not enlarged, the retina of the eyes (fundi) shows no abnormalities and there is no protein in urine (proteinuria) or there is evidence of impaired kidney function, many such patients live a life of normal span free from related illness. Some are even of the opinion that such cases can be brought under control by diet, exercise and relaxation therapies. Women, especially, can better cope with hypertension.

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