Categories of blood pressure include the normal blood pressure, which is 120/80 or under, 120/80 to 130/89 is pre-hypertension state and 140/90 or higher is called high blood pressure. Untreated hypertension increases the risks of heart, kidneys and eyes problems, and lead to atherosclerosis, arteriosclerosis, and stroke.
Types of Hypertension
- Essential (known also as primary) high blood pressure doesn’t have any identified cause of the condition. More than 90% of all cases of hypertension are essential.
- Secondary hypertension has an identified cause of the disorder. It develops suddenly and may lead to much higher increase of blood pressure than primary hypertension.
Causes of Secondary Hypertension
- Use of drugs, especially amphetamines and cocaine might lead to hypertension.
- Some medications may also cause high blood pressure, including: OTC (over the counter) painkillers, drug to relieve the symptoms of nasal congestion or the cold, contraceptive pills, or some prescribed medications as well.
- Heart defects, present since the birth, kidney problems or adrenal gland tumors are also possible causes of hypertension.
Hypertension Risk Factors
Some risk factors can’t be controlled, as aging, color of our skin or our genetic predispositions.
Age is one of the risk factors for hypertension. Men are more likely to have high blood pressure around middle age, and women after the menopause. Black people (African-Americans) are more prone to hypertension, heart attack and strokes than Caucasians. Hypertension runs in the family. If you had/have a close relative suffering from this condition chances that you inherited the hypertension are high.
However, there are risk factors that we can and should control, in order to prevent high blood pressure.
- Obese and overweight people have the increased risk of hypertension. Keep your weight in healthy limits to protect your blood pressure.
- Exercising leads to weight loss and lower heart rate, which decreases the possibility of hypertension.
- Stress is also identified as the reason of hypertension. Blood pressure rises slowly but steadily under the stressful conditions.
- Some chronic illnesses, like diabetes, kidney problems, high levels of blood cholesterol, or sleeping apnea increase the risk of hypertension.
- Pregnant women might sometimes have problems with high blood pressure, due to the pregnancy.
- Too much salt (natrium or sodium) and too little potassium (calium) in the food you eat may affect the blood pressure, leading to hypertension.
- Smoking is damaging your blood vessels and increasing your blood pressure.
- Alcohol abuse could harm the heart. Even 2 drinks while sitting in a bar may raise your blood pressure.
Hypertension is usually the adults’ condition, but children may be affected too. Some kids have problems with the heart or the kidneys, but others are at increased risk of hypertension because of the unhealthy food they eat and lack of physical activity.