Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing up against the blood vessel walls. The higher the pressure the harder the heart has to pump.
Hypertension can lead to damaged organs, as well as several illnesses, such as renal failure (kidney failure), aneurysm, heart failure, stroke, or heart attack. Researchers from UC Davis reported in the Journal of the American Academy of Neurology that high blood pressure during middle age may raise the risk of cognitive decline later in life.
According to Medilexicon's medical dictionary, hypertension means "High blood pressure; transitory or sustained elevation of systemic arterial blood pressure to a level likely to induce cardiovascular damage or other adverse consequences."
The normal level for blood pressure is below 120/80, where 120 represents the systolic measurement (peak pressure in the arteries) and 80 represents the diastolic measurement (minimum pressure in the arteries). Blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89 is called prehypertension (to denote increased risk of hypertension), and a blood pressure of 140/90 or above is considered hypertension.
Hypertension may be classified as essential or secondary. Essential hypertension is the term for high blood pressure with unknown cause. It accounts for about 95% of cases. Secondary hypertension is the term for high blood pressure with a known direct cause, such as kidney disease, tumors, or birth control pills.
What causes hypertension?
Though the exact causes of hypertension are usually unknown, there are several factors that have been highly associated with the condition. These include: •Smoking
•Obesity or being overweight
•Being obese/overweight as a child - a research team at the Indiana University School of Medicine