Blood pressure is considered high if the upper value of the blood pressure (known as systolic value) is 140mmHg or more, or the lower value of the blood pressure (known as the diastolic value) is 90mmHg or more, or both.
Hypertension or high blood pressure refers to the condition in which the blood is pumped around the body at too high a pressure. Blood pressure is not the same throughout the day. It varies with time of day or night, exercise, excitement or stress. Because of this normal variation, it is important to measure the blood pressure a few times on different occasions.
High blood pressure is a common condition in which the long-term force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough to cause health problems, such as heart disease.
Blood pressure is determined both by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure.
In 95% of cases, the cause of hypertension is unknown. In 5% of cases, hypertension may be due to causes such as kidney disease, narrowing of certain blood vessels or hormonal imbalance.
Obesity, diabetes, smoking, excessive salt and alcohol consumption, physical inactivity and frequent psychological stress are risk factors that increase the chance of developing hypertension.
People who have a family history of hypertension are also more Iikely to develop hypertension. Your risk doubles if you have one or more close family members with high blood pressure before the age of 60. A very strong family history means you have 3 or more relatives who had high blood pressure before 60. It is important to understand that a family history of high blood pressure does not mean you will have high blood pressure, but it increases your chances.
Hypertension is often called the ''silent killer." Even when severe, it may not give rise to any symptoms. Occasionally, you may have headaches or giddiness when the hypertension is severe. However, these symptoms are not specific to hypertension; they are also present in other diseases. Sometimes, hypertension is only discovered when complications set in, for example, a stroke or a heart attack.
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Heart attacks and strokes are common emergencies related to hypertension and can be
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Lifestyle modification forms the foundation for the treatment of hypertension and other metabolic disease. Very often losing weight, exercising, eating less salt, quitting smoking and avoiding excessive alcohol is all that is needed to control blood pressure. When changing lifestyle does not help control blood pressure, anti-hypertensive medications may be prescribed. Even when taking medication, healthy lifestyle should be continued. Appropriate treatment of high blood pressure has been known to reduce death rates from strokes and coronary heart disease.
You have been diagnosed with having high blood pressure (hypertension), and will most likely be prescribed drugs that belong to these 5 main groups:
Prescription of medication is individualised depending on the person's age, sex and coexisting medical conditions. More than one drug may be prescribed to keep the blood pressure (BP) at an acceptable level. Single drugs which combine medications from 2 of these groups are also available.
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