What is high blood pressure?
High blood pressure can be a separate disease (hypertension, high blood pressure, essential high blood pressure), but also symptom of another illness (secondary high blood pressure). The normal blood pressure of the adult person is <130/80 mmHg.
Risk factors for high blood pressure are:
- overweight (obesity)
- excessive stress and mental stress
- physical inactivity
- alcohol intake
- false eating habits/high fat intake
- high salt (NaCl) intake
- high cholesterol (more than 5.0 mmol/L).
Healthy adults should check their blood pressure at least every two years. When there has been heart disease in family before, then once a year. About a third of people are unaware that they have high blood pressure, because it is occurs mostly no complaints for the person. So high blood pressure (hypertension) can quietly damage your body for years before symptoms develop.
High blood pressure can be indicated by:
- head and neck pain
- heart palpitations
The majority (80%) of cases of hypertension are due lifestyle and environmental factors. Genetic predisposition also plays a role here. A person suffering from high blood pressure should measure their blood pressure at least once in a week.
A family doctor or family nurse should be contacted when:
- blood pressure is as high as 160/100 mgHg in three consecutive measurements
- in case of malaise
An ambulance should be called when these factors are suddenly occurring:
- severe headache
- dizziness and nausea
- tachycardia (heart rate over 100 b/min)
- chest pain.
High blood pressure requires regular lifelong treatment to prevent the complications high blood pressure can cause when it's not effectively controlled:
- ischemic heart disease/coronary artery disease
- heart attack
- chronic heart failure
- kidney failure
- eye blood vessel damage
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