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Friday, 30 January 2009

Hypertension

Blood pressure depends on the amount of blood pumped out of the heart each minute and the resistance to the blood flow in the blood vessels. It is quoted as two values (in mmHg unit), systolic (maximum pressure per heart beat) and diastolic (minimum pressure per heart beat).

In general, in most people hypertension can remain untreated for a number of years. However, symptoms such as headache, blurred vision, anxiety, coma, nausea and vomiting may be experienced, although some are very rare. Therefore, hypertension is usually diagnosed by routine blood pressure measurement (on a number of occasions) or as a result of other complications.

Hyper tension can be divided into two types:

- primary (aetiology or essential)

- secondary (secondary to a disease such as renal artery stenosis)

Why does hypertension need treatment?
With hypertension structural and functional changes to the blood vessels occur over time. This changed blood flow, capillary permeability and vessel wall shear streees, which in turn affects cardiac workload, which may result in myocardial ischemia or even cardiac failure. Hypertension can also result in stroke or transient ischemic attacks. Damaged to other organs (renal failure or hypertensive retinopathy) can also occur.

The cardiovascular risks due to hypertension depends on other risk factors, such as age, family history, lifestyle, other illnesses (e.g. diabetes and high cholesterol)


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Disclaimer: the main purpose of this blog is to assemble my notes for my Continuing Professional Development (CPD). The topic discussed here should not be referred to as the only source of information. If there is anything with respect to this article that concerns you, please contact your doctor or pharmacist.
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