The Phrase High Blood Pressure conjures up a variety of things to all people. Common definitions refer to the condition without refereeing to the cause.
Because of the silent and insidious way it works in the background i.e. no symptoms it is referred to as the Silent Killer. If left uncontrolled or untreated then High Blood Pressure can cause a variety of illnesses all of which could kill if left to their own devices.
It has been estimated that in the USA there are potentially 50 million sufferers of Hypertension / High Blood Pressure. In the USA initial investigations would seem to highlight that within the black community 32% off the community how to high blood pressure as opposed to 23% within the White and Hispanic communities
For blacks it would also appear the adverse consequences of high blood pressure were worse. There is no doubt about that at high blood pressure does increase as we age with the figure is called 75% of women and 66% of men over the age of 75 being treated for high blood pressure.
High blood pressure is twice as common among people who are obese as among those who are not.
It is a staggering figure that possibly only two thirds of the potential high blood pressure sufferers in the US have been diagnosed. Of this figure about three quarters are receiving medical treatment and of this first three quarters only 50% are receiving adequate treatment.
Hypertension is calculated by way of registering two figures. The first figure is the highest and reflects the highest pressure in the arteries upon contraction of the heart during the process known as systole. As would appear logical the second figure relates to the process of contraction within the heart known as diastole.
Blood pressure figures are written as two numbers, the first over the second (120 over 80) and is calculated in millimetres of mercury which is the traditional form of measurement In the early days it was felt that high blood pressure started when the diastolic pressure walls at a minimum average over 140 mm Hg all the diastolic figure was greater than 90 mm Hg.
The change in the approach to these limits has occurred through increased research into hypertension highlighting additional unforeseen complications. Research has shown that it is not unusual for raised figures in both systolic and diastolic pressures for sufferers of high blood pressure.
The one major exception to this widely accepted approach towards blood pressure is when it is arising through increased age whereby it is not uncommon to see a raised systolic pressure alongside a normal diastolic figure.
This condition has been referred to as “isolated systolic hypertension”. Where the blood pressure is in excess of 180/110 mm Hg and there is an absence of associate symptoms then the entire condition is referred to as a hypertensive urgency.”
Malignant hypertension, a particularly severe form of high blood pressure, is a hypertensive emergency. Blood pressure is at least 210/120 mm Hg. It occurs in only about 1 of 200 people who have high blood pressure.
For some apparent reason that is not necessarily had an adequate medical explanation the incidences of malignant hypertension are increased within the black community and those within the lowest socioeconomic groups. This type of hypertension is unlike hypertensive urgency in that it produces a variety of severe symptoms. These can be fatal within a period of six months if left untreated.