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What is hypertension?

Hypertension is a condition that can be most easily explained as high blood pressure. Anything over the normal (120/80 mmHg) could be termed as high blood pressure, but as per medical standards, a person can be categorized as suffering from hypertension (high blood pressure) if they have three consecutive readings of anything above 130/80 mmHg. 

Hypertension is the leading cause of conditions such as stroke, heart attack and heart disease. The major risk factors include obesity, smoking, family history and excessive alcohol consumption. 

How is it related to heart disease? 

High blood pressure or hypertension can lead to heart failure by causing Left Ventricular Hypertrophy (LVH)[1]. LVH is a condition where the muscles that make up the heart thicken and result in less effective muscle relaxation between each heartbeat. This lowers the supply of oxygen to your vital organs, especially during exertion. All this causes your body to hold on to fluids causing your heart rate to increase. 

What can be done about it?

The only way this condition can be managed is by controlling or reducing one’s blood pressure. As per a study published in the Expert Review of Cardiovascular Therapy, ‘A reduction in blood pressure is still the most important factor in the prevention of disease progression, and early treatment averts the risk of subsequent heart failure and stroke.’ [1]

References

  1. Subramaniam V, Lip GY. Hypertension to heart failure: a pathophysiological spectrum relating blood pressure, drug treatments and stroke. Expert Rev Cardiovasc Ther. 2009 Jun;7(6):703-13. doi: 10.1586/erc.09.43. PubMed PMID: 19505285.
  2. Kjeldsen SE. Hypertension and cardiovascular risk: General aspects. Pharmacol  Res. 2018 Mar;129:95-99. doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2017.11.003. Epub 2017 Nov 7. Review. PubMed PMID: 29127059.
  3. Hypertension and cardiovascular risk: General aspects. Kjeldsen SE. Pharmacol Res. 2018 Mar;129:95-99. doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2017.11.003. Epub 2017 Nov 7. Review.

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