Hypertension, also called high
blood pressure or arterial hypertension, is a chronic condition in which the
blood pressure against the walls
in the arteries is elevated.
High blood pressure is called "the silent condition" because it does not show
symptoms for many years until it can be “sensed” when more complicated symptoms
Measurements of blood pressure show
in millimeters of mercury (written
Systolic, at the top, when heart muscle is contracting, and
Diastolic, the bottom reading, expressed when the heart muscle is relaxed
The readings are structured and
interpreted in different forms. The most common is:
Systolic BP (mmHg)
Diastolic BP (mmHg)
Hypertension Stage 2
Hypertension Stage 1
140 - 159
90 - 99
Normal - High
130 - 139
85 - 89
120 - 129
80 - 84
Another classification considers
pre-hypertension the readings over 120 mmHg systolic or over 80 mmHg diastolic.
Blood pressure normally changes
throughout the day, but when either systolic or diastolic pressure stays
constantly high (140/90 mmHg or above) it is called “hypertension”. For certain
individuals with diabetes or chronic kidney disease is considered high when it
is over 130 mmHg systolic or over 80 mmHg diastolic.
Hypertension is classified as:
Primary (or essential) hypertension, with unknown cause, and
Secondary hypertension that is caused by known conditions such as kidney
disease, or endocrine system dysfunctions.
Numerous surveys and studies have
found a strong correlation between blood pressure and outdoor temperature,
showing higher blood pressure during winter. Apparently, cold increases
sympathetic tone leading to an increment of the blood pressure. On the other
side, the decreasing tendency of blood pressure observed in summer is explained
by cutaneous vasodilatation and loss of water and salt from sweating.
Some studies also suggest that
there is a link between deficiency of vitamin D and blood pressure.
Hypertension during pregnancy can
lead to pre-eclampsia, characterized by the presence of protein in the urine.
Hypertension in children and young people can indicate the presence of underlying disorders. In most
of cases, they are related to obesity and kidney diseases. If discovered during
middle age and left untreated, hypertension can affect vital organs of the body
and speeds up brain aging with the possibility of cognitive deterioration later