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Hypertension is a chronic medical condition in which the blood pressure is elevated. It is also referred to as high blood pressure or shortened to HT, HTN, or HPN. The word “hypertension”, by itself, normally refers to systemicarterial hypertension.

Hypertension can be classified as either essential (primary) or secondary. Essential or primary hypertension means that no medical cause can be found to explain the raised blood pressure. It is common. About 90-95% of hypertension is essential hypertension.[2][3][4][5] Secondary hypertension indicates that the high blood pressure is a result of (i.e., secondary to) another condition, such as kidney disease or tumours(adrenal adenoma or pheochromocytoma).

File:Main complications of persistent high blood pressure.svg

Persistent hypertension is one of the risk factors for strokesheart attacksheart failure and arterial aneurysm, and is a leading cause of chronic renal failure.[6] Even moderate elevation of arterial blood pressure leads to shortened life expectancy. At severely high pressures, defined as mean arterial pressures 50% or more above average, a person can expect to live no more than a few years unless appropriately treated.[7] Beginning at a systolic pressure (which is peak pressure in the arteries, which occurs near the end of the cardiac cycle when the ventricles are contracting) of 115 mmHgand diastolic pressure (which is minimum pressure in the arteries, which occurs near the beginning of the cardiac cycle when the ventricles are filled with blood) of 75 mmHg (commonly written as 115/75 mmHg), cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk doubles for each increment of 20/10 mmHg.[8]

A recent classification recommends blood pressure criteria for defining normal blood pressure, prehypertension, hypertension (stages I and II), and isolated systolic hypertension, which is a common occurrence among the elderly. These readings are based on the average of seated blood pressure readings that were properly measured during 2 or more office visits. In individuals older than 50 years, hypertension is considered to be present when a person’s blood pressure is consistently at least 140 mmHg systolic or 90 mmHg diastolic. Patients with blood pressures over 130/80 mmHg along with Type 1 or Type 2diabetes, or kidney disease require further treatment.[8]

Classification Systolic pressure Diastolic pressure
mmHg kPa (kN/m2) mmHg kPa (kN/m2)
Normal 90–119 12–15.9 60–79 8.0–10.5
Prehypertension 120–139 16.0–18.5 80–89 10.7–11.9
Stage 1 140–159 18.7–21.2 90–99 12.0–13.2
Stage 2 ≥160 ≥21.3 ≥100 ≥13.3
Isolated systolic
≥140 ≥18.7 <90 <12.0
Source: American Heart Association (2003).[8]



Signs and symptoms

Mild to moderate essential hypertension is greatly asymptomatic.[15][16][17][18][19] Accelerated hypertension is associated with headachesomnolenceconfusionvisual disturbances, and nausea and vomiting(hypertensive encephalopathy).

Retinas are affected with narrowing of arterial diameter to less than 50% of venous diameter, copper or silver wire appearance, exudateshemorrhages, or papilledema.[20] Some signs and symptoms are especially important in infants and neonates such as failure to thriveseizureirritability or lethargy, and respiratory distress.[21] While in children hypertension may cause headache, fatigueblurred visionepistaxis, and bell palsy.[21]

January 27, 2010 - Posted by | Blood, Brain, Cells, Heart, Muscles | ,


  1. Helpful stuff. Blood pressure and hypertension have been interests of mine for a long time, and I think that a solid, holistic approach is overall the most promising. You have to eat healthy, exercise, and regularly watch your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and then things should be not too hard. We have lots of info on all that on our site, everyone interested is welcome to take a look.

    Comment by Letitia Cain | August 19, 2010 | Reply

    • First of all, thanks for the comments and some helpful tips in maintaining our blood & body in a healthy condition.

      Comment by Engr. Ardy Motos | August 27, 2010 | Reply

  2. Hey there. Like your blog. Good information. I can’t seem to find a contact page info on here. Would like to link with my fellow WP bloggers. I’m herbal ivan and I look forward to sharing and exchanging data with you.

    All the best,

    herbal ivan

    Comment by Ivan | October 19, 2010 | Reply

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