Not many would know that High Blood Pressure (HBP) is also refer to as Hypertension (HTN or HT) many think this two are different from each other whereas they are both the same in definitions. I would define Hypertension to as the end result of High Blood Pressure.
Hypertension (HTN or HT), also known as High Blood Pressure (HBP), is along-termmedical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is persistently elevated.
If a person has High Blood Pressure it means that the walls of the arteries are receiving too much pressure repeatedly – the pressure needs to be chronically elevated for a diagnosis of Hypertension to be confirmed.
It is known as the “silent killer” since it has no initial symptoms. If left untreated or uncontrolled, high blood pressure can cause many health problems. These conditions include heart failure, vision loss, stroke, and kidney disease.
Hypertension is the most important preventable risk factor for premature death worldwide. Many people have High Blood Pressure and don’t know it. The American Heart Association estimates high blood pressure affects approximately one in three adults in the United States, or about 76.4 million people. High Blood Pressure has become the second most common reason for medical office visits in the United States.
As of 2014, approximately one billion adults or ~22% of the population of the world have Hypertension. It is slightly more frequent in men, in those of low socioeconomic status, and prevalence increases with age. It is common in high, medium and low income countries. In Europe hypertension occurs in about 30–45% of people as of 2013. In 1995 it was estimated that 43 million people (24% of the population) in the United States had hypertension or were taking anti-hypertensive medication. By 2004 this had increased to 29% and further to 34% (76 million US adults) by 2006. African American adults in the United States have among the highest rates of hypertension in the world at 44%. It is also more common in Filipino Americans and less common in US whites and Mexican Americans.
Types Of High Blood Pressure
There are two main types of high blood pressure: primary and secondary High Blood Pressure.
Primary or Essential High Blood Pressure
Primary, or essential, High Blood Pressure is the most common type of high blood pressure. This type of high blood pressure tends to develop over years as a person ages. In as many as 95% of reported High Blood Pressure cases in the U.S. and worldwide the underlying cause cannot be determined. Essential Hypertension is also greatly influenced by diet and lifestyle. The link between salt and high blood pressure is especially compelling. By contrast, people who add no salt to their food show virtually no traces of essential Hypertension.
The majority of all people with High Blood Pressure are “salt sensitive,” meaning that anything more than the minimal bodily need for salt is too much for them and increases their blood pressure. Other factors that can raise the risk of having essential hypertension include obesity; diabetes; stress; insufficient intake of potassium, calcium, and magnesium; lack of physical activity; and chronic alcohol consumption. The possible role of other factors such as caffeine consumption, and vitamin D deficiency are less clear.
One review suggest that sugar may play an important role in hypertension and salt is still one of the major causes of High Blood Pressure.
Secondary High Blood Pressure
Secondary High Blood Pressure is caused by another medical condition or use of certain medicines. Birth control pills– specifically those containing estrogen– and pregnancy can boost blood pressure, as can medications that constrict blood vessels. So we say when a direct cause for high blood pressure can be identified, the condition is now described as Secondary Hypertension.
How do you detect High Blood Pressure?
Unless your blood pressure is super-high, you won’t know unless it is measured. If blood pressure is very high, it can give you symptoms such as headaches. But usually you only know it’s ‘up‘ because it has been checked. Healthy adults should have a blood pressure check at least from the age of 40. It will be checked regularly at a younger age in conditions such as diabetes mellitus, pregnancy or kidney diseases. It will be checked more frequently (every 6–12 months) as you get older.
You can check your blood pressure on our Blood Pressure Chart.