HYPERTENSION

Hypertension is considered as the biggest single risk factor for deaths worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), hypertension causes 7 million deaths every year while 1.5 billion people suffer due to its complications.

According to the Philippine Society of Hypertension (PSH) in 2012, 21 percent of Filipino adults are hypertensive. 

Hypertension is defined as physiologic conditon where there is an increase in arterial blood pressure above normal.

It is a common condition in which the long-term force of the blood against the artery wall is high enough that it may eventually cause health problems, such as heart disease.

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Other factors which places the person at risk:

Increasing age ( above 40 years old for males and menopausal age for female)

Smoking

Being overweight

Heavy alcohol consumption

High serum cholesterol level

Family history of heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease

SYMPTOMS

Often hypertension has no symptoms, that’s why it was also called a “silent killer.” But some may develop the following:

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DIAGNOSIS

Blood pressure is taken by placing an inflatable arm cuff around your arm and measure your blood pressure using a pressure-measuring gauge, a sphygmomanometer.

A blood pressure reading, given in millimeters mercury (mm Hg), has two numbers. The first or upper number measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats (systolic pressure). The second or lower number measures the pressure in your arteries between beats (diastolic pressure).
Blood pressure measurements fall into four general categories:

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Two to three blood pressure readings each at three or more separate appointments should be taken before diagnosing one with high blood pressure. This is because blood pressure normally varies throughout the day, and sometimes specifically during visits to the doctor.

TREATMENT

Anti-hypertensive medications to control and maintain blood pressure are given, depending on the existing condition. It may be any or a combination of:
• Diuretics
• ACE Inhibitor
• Angiotensin Receptor Blocker
• Beta Blocker
• Calcium Channel Blocker
• Aldosterone Antagonist

HOME CARE

Home blood pressure monitoring can help keep your blood pressure normal, show if medication is working, and even alert you and your doctor to potential complications.

Home blood pressure monitoring isn’t a substitute for visits to the doctor, and home blood pressure monitors may have some limitations. Even if normal readings are taken, don’t stop or change your medications or alter your diet without talking to your doctor first.

If your blood pressure is under control, you may be able to make fewer visits to your doctor if you monitor your blood pressure at home.

PREVENTION

Not only can healthy lifestyle habits prevent high blood pressure from occurring, it can reverse prehypertension and help control existing high blood pressure or prevent complications and long-term problems associated with this condition, such as coronary heart disease, stroke, or kidney disease.

The following can help prevent the disease:
• Eating nutritious, low-salt, low-fat diet
• Exercising regularly
• Maintaining a healthy weight and if overweight or obese, try to lose weight
• Drinking alcohol in moderation
• Quitting or never smoking
• Reducing stress and practice relaxation techniques

References:
www.cdc.gov
www.medicinenet.com
www.doh.gov
www.pchrd.dost.gov.ph
www.mayoclinic.org
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