Hypertension is an abnormally elevated blood pressure that is harmful for various organ systems. It is defined as two or more recordings of elevated blood pressure greater than 140/90 mm of mercury in adults.
The risk factors for development of hypertension include old age, obesity, lack of exercise, family history of hypertension, high salt intake, tobacco smoking, excess alcohol consumption, oxidative stress, hypercholesterolemia and diabetes mellitus. Hypertension is either primary (more than 90%) where the exact cause is not known or is secondary hypertension that occurs due to underlying cause like chronic kidney disease, endocrine disease like Cushing?s syndrome, drug induced due to NSAIDs, steroids and oral contraceptive pills and use of cocaine or nicotine. There are more than 74.5 million adults in US with hypertension.
In many countries about 50% of population above age of 60 years have hypertension. Some people may be asymptomatic though usually hypertension results in severe headache, nausea and vomiting. A sudden rise in blood pressure may result in confusion, dimness of vision and seizures. Hypertension is a risk factor for heart disease, atherosclerosis and stroke.
The aim of treatment is to keep the blood pressure under control, especially during stress. Over a long term it helps in prevention of complications associated with organ damage involving eyes, kidneys and cardiovascular system. A sudden reduction of blood pressure may be harmful and thus approach for gradual decrease is more desired.
Recommended USANA Support for Hypertension
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