High blood pressure is a medical condition in which the force exerted on blood vessels by the flow of blood is consistently higher than normal. It is also known as hypertension. Two different measurements are used to record blood pressure. The force measured while the heart contracts is known as systolic pressure. The force measured when the heart is at rest is called diastolic pressure. High blood pressure can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, peripheral artery disease, kidney disease, and eye problems.
It is common for high blood pressure to cause no symptoms. This means many people with hypertension may not know they have it. High blood pressure is usually discovered during routine medical appointments.
Hypertension can have many different causes. These can include obesity, medications, and inherited genetics. Other health conditions may also increase blood pressure. Some of these include kidney disease and thyroid disease. High blood pressure is more common in men than women and the risk for this condition increases with age.Tobacco use, high levels of stress, a diet high in salt, and excessive alcohol consumption may also contribute.
Blood pressure goals vary. Your medical provider will determine what is best for you. Therapy is multifaceted and includes diet, exercise, weight loss, and medications. Some medications used to treat this condition are calcium channel blockers, diuretics, ACE inhibitors, and angiotensin receptor blockers. Many patients need multiple medications to reach their desired blood pressure.
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