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If you've been told you have high blood pressure you should be thankful for a timely diagnosis. For many people their high blood pressure goes undiagnosed years, and this can be a very dangerous situation.
Essential or primary hypertension It's thought that more than 9 in 10 people with high blood pressure have 'primary hypertension,' which means that there's no single clear cause of it.
However, it is known that certain factors in your lifestyle can contribute to developing the conditions, including:
Your family history
Being of Afro-Caribbean or South Asian origin
Being overweight or obese
Having an unhealthy diet
Drinking alcohol - especially if you binge drink
Lack of exercise
Secondary hypertension Around 1 in 20 people with high blood pressure have 'secondary hypertension'. This means it's linked to another cause, for example:
Kidney conditions such as kidney infection or kidney disease
Narrowing of the arteries
It is estimated that one in four adults (approximately 50 million) in the United States has elevated blood pressure – and more than 30 percent of them are unaware of it. Since people with hypertension may not exhibit any symptoms, their high blood pressure is often undiagnosed until complications occur. It has been proven that blood pressure screening facilitates early diagnosis and treatment. Proper treatment clearly reduces the risk of the complications associated with hypertension. Blood pressure Blood pressure is the force exerted against artery walls as blood is carried through the circulatory system. The measurement of force is made in relation to the heart's pumping activity, and is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). The higher number, or systolic pressure, is the measurement of pressure that occurs when the ventricle of the heart contracts or beats. The lower number, or diastolic pressure, is the measurement recorded between beats, while the heart is ...
Medications Several classes of drugs are used to treat hypertension. Diuretics Diuretics help the kidneys get rid of excess salt and water. They are the mainstays of anti-hypertensive therapy and are often the first type of drug selected for most people with hypertension. They are also especially helpful for treating patients with heart failure, patients with isolated systolic hypertension, the elderly, and African-Americans. (African-Americans are more likely to be salt-sensitive, so they respond well to these drugs.) They also work well for patients with diabetes. Diuretics are often used in combination with other antihypertensive drugs. There is strong evidence that diuretics work just as well as newer drugs in lowering blood pressure and are more effective in preventing heart failure, heart attack, and stroke. Diuretic Types and Brands. The three main types of diuretics include: Thiazide diuretics. These include chlorothiazide (Diuril), chlorthalidone (Hygroton), indapamide (Lozol), hyd...
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