What is blood pressure?
Blood pressure is the pressure of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. Arteries carry blood from your heart to other parts of your body. Your blood pressure normally rises and falls throughout the day.
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is blood pressure that is higher than normal. Your blood pressure changes throughout the day based on your activities. Having blood pressure measures consistently above normal may result in a diagnosis of high blood pressure (or hypertension).
Hypertension is a condition in which the blood pressure is chronically elevated. It is considered to be present when a person’s systolic blood pressure is consistently 140 mm Hg or higher, and/or their diastolic blood pressure is consistently 90 mm Hg or higher. Various epidemiologic studies had consistently demonstrated that increasing levels of systolic BP correlate directly with the risk of developing cardiovascular events and stroke leading to mortality. In old age systolic blood pressure becomes a stronger predictor of risk than diastolic blood pressure or other standard risk factors besides age. Based on WHO definition the incidence of hypertension in urban population is around 40% and rural around 18%. High blood pressure is dangerous because it makes the heart work harder to pump blood to the body and it contributes to hardening of the arteries or atherosclerosis.
Types of Hypertension
Primary or essential hypertension – The hypertension of unknown origin.
Secondary hypertension – Hypertension with an identifiable cause secondary to another disease such as renal disease or tumor.
Isolated systolic hypertension – Most common in old age due to reduced vascular compliance, systolic B.P > 160 mm of Hg with Diastolic pressure < 90 mm of Hg.
Neurogenic hypertension – It can be caused by strong stimulation of sympathetic nervous system. (e.g. when a person becomes excited for any reason or state of anxiety).
The higher your blood pressure levels, the more risk you have for other health problems, such as heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
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