What is Hypertension ?
Hypertension is the medical term used for high blood pressure(BP).BP is the lateral pressure exerted by the column of blood while flowing through the vessels. BP during contraction of the heart is called systolic or higher pressure. The BP during relaxation phase of the heart is called diastolic or lower pressure. Normal blood pressure should be around 110/70 mmHg. Blood pressure between 120-139 systolic & 80-89 diastolic is termed as pre-hypertension. BP of 140/90 & above in an adult above 18 years of age is hypertension.
What is the Risk ?
Hypertension is a risk factor for heart attack, brain attack , kidney failure & heart failure. For each 20/10mm rise in pressure , there is doubling of risk. Treating BP reduces chances of these events. Hypertension, smoking, male gender is the classical triad for sudden cardiac death. BP also is a risk factor for diabetes, dementia etc.
How to Control :
Hypertension is treated by :
- Lifestyle changes which includes
(a) Dietary changes ,
(b) Regular physical exercise and
Mild hypertension can be treated with life style changes alone in consultation with a physician . Various drugs are available for the control of BP .
How to Prevent:
Restricting salt intake to 4.5gm/day, maintaining ideal body weight, sleeping atleast for 7 hrs daily ,eating lots of fruits, vegetables, listening to classical music ,isotonic exercise(not weight lifting),giving up smoking ,yoga, meditation all are helpful for prevention and treatment of high blood pressure.