Hypertension is a medical disorder in which the blood pressure is raised to high levels. It is one of the signs that an individual may have a stroke, heart attack, or heart failure. Some patients who have hypertension have been known to have aneurysms as well, and this can lead to serious kidney problems. The level of a person's blood pressure will determine their risk for developing a number of diseases. Because the blood pressure of a patient may vary greatly, a diagnoses for hypertension should not be made unless two or more readings have been taken.
If a person has a blood pressure level that is at 120/80 or 139/89, they are considered to be at a prehypertension level. Prehypertension is not a condition, but is a category which can help identify patients who are greatly at risk for getting hypertension. If a person is suffering from diabetes, a blood pressure level which is higher than 130/80 will put them at risk for developing hypertension. There are a number of factors that will determine the risk of a person getting hypertension. The age is one of the primary factors. Older people have a higher likelihood of developing hypertension compared to those that are young.
Individuals who consume excessive amounts of salt are greatly at risk. People who live a sedentary lifestyle and don't get sufficient amounts of exercise may also have a high risk for getting hypertension. The use of cigarettes or large amounts of alcohol will also play a role in a persons risk. In addition to this, obesity, stress, and saturated fat are important factors as well. The underlying structures that are connected to these factors and hypertension are well understood by doctors and scientists. There are three common causes that most experts believe is connected to hypertension.
The first is the failure of kidneys to get rid of excess sodium. The second is a highly active renin that causes the vasoconstriction of water and sodium. The third cause is believed to be a sympathetic nervous system which is too active, and causes an abnormal amount of stress. Hypertension is a condition that produces virtually not symptoms. Patients who are at an advanced stage of this disorder may have headaches and their vision may be blurred as well. Advanced levels of hypertension can also cause kidney failure,and this is one of the most serious symptoms. When a patient is suffering from renal failure, the term accelerated hypertension will often be used.
While young women don't generally have high levels of blood pressure, many of them will get hypertension while they are pregnant. These women will need to be given medication, as hypertension can lead to a number of complications with their pregnancy. A diagnosis for hypertension will often be made based on the blood pressure levels of the patient. Multiple measurments should be taken, and they will all need to be spaced weeks apart. However, if organ damage has occured, the diagnosis and treatment may need to be made quickly.
About the Author: Michael Colucci is a writer for Hypertension which is part of the Knowledge Search network