Hypertension

Hypertension – Blood pressure is the amount of force exerted on the vessel walls as blood moves through the body. Hypertension, more commonly known as high blood pressure, is a common medical condition that is usually asymptomatic. Only with severe elevations in blood pressure might one experience symptoms such as headache, blurry vision or confusion.

Hypertension directly causes target organ damage through the physical elevation of blood pressure. Some of the complications that can arise from untreated hypertension include retinopathy, dementia, heart failure, peripheral arterial disease, myocardial infarction, angina, stroke, renal failure, and death. The risk of cardiovascular disease is increased in patients with a blood of >115/75; the risk doubles for each increment of 20/10 mmHg of blood pressure.

In Texas, Hypertension resulted in 11,476 hospitalizations in 2012. The average hospital stay was 3 days and the average charge was $26,903.

Prevention Steps:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Adopting the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet
  • Limit consumption of alcohol
  • Reduce sodium intake; not to exceed 2.4 g per day
  • Get 30 minutes of regular exercise per day
  • Quit smoking
  • Monitor your blood pressure regularly, especially for adults above the age of 40
  • Take medications as prescribed to prevent long term risk of stroke
  • If blood pressure is unstable, seek regular follow-ups with your doctor

Symptoms:

  • Most people with hypertension have no signs of symptoms, even when blood pressure readings are at high levels
  • Some may experience headaches, shortness of breath or nosebleeds, but these usually don't occur until high blood pressure has become life-threatening

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