Hypertension – Elevated Blood Pressure

BreastfeedingDiabetesExercise Hypertension Preventive Medicine

blood_pressOne of the most dangerous aspects of hypertension is that you may not know that you have it. There are generally no symptoms of high blood pressure, so you usually don’t feel it. In fact, nearly one-third of people who have hypertension don’t know it.

The only way to find out if you have high blood pressure is to get your blood pressure checked on a regular basis.

This is especially important if you have a close relative who has high blood pressure.

Hypertension is defined as follows

Normal Blood Pressure systolic less than 120 and diastolic less than 80 (requires monitoring every 2 years)
Pre-Hypertension systolic 120-130 or diastolic 80-89 (requires lifestyle modification and at least annual monitoring)
Stage I Hypertension systolic 140-159 or diastolic 90-99 (requires lifestyle modification and likely medication)
Stage II Hypertension systolic greater than 160 or diastolic greater than 100 (requires lifestyle modification and medication)

Complications of Hypertension:

Early Cardiovascular Disease (heart attack or stroke before age 60), Heart Failure, Enlargement of the heart (which is associated with enhanced incidence of heart failure, heart rhythm disturbance, and death following heart attack), Stroke, chronic kidney disease and end-stage kidney disease resulting in dialysis.

Benefits of Treating Blood Pressure:

20-25% reduction in the incidence of major cardiovascular events (stroke, heart failure, and heart attack).

Please review Framingham Risk Calculator with your physician to assess your potential risk reduction with blood pressure treatment.

Lifestyle Changes for Controlling Blood Pressure

(click links for more information)
Recommendation Approximate Systolic BP Reduction Range
Weight Reduction Maintain normal body weight (BMI, 18.5 to 24.9 kg/m2) (http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/) 5-20 mmHg per 10-kg loss
Adopt DASH Eating Plan Consume a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products with a reduced content of saturated and total fat 8 to 14 mmHg
Dietary Sodium Reduction Reduce dietary sodium intake to no more than 100 meq/day (2.4 g sodium or 6 g sodium chloride) 2 to 8 mmHg
Physical Activity Engage in regular aerobic physical activity such as brisk walking (at least 30 minutes per day, most days of the week) 4 to 9 mmHg
Moderation of Alcohol Consumption Limit consumption to no more than 2 drinks per day in most men and no more than 1 drink per day in women and lighter-weight persons 2 to 4 mmHg

Smoking Cessation

One additional important lifestyle modification is cessation of smoking. Smoking does not cause elevated blood pressure, but does significantly increases the risk for cardiovascular disease in patients with elevated blood pressure.

Please refer to the following for additional reliable information about hypertension:
Up To Date Information on High Blood Pressure in Adults

BreastfeedingDiabetesExercise Hypertension Preventive Medicine