Definition, Causes, Risks, Complications and Diagnosis of Hypertension


Hypertension also called, high blood pressure, is one of the most leading risk factors pertaining to cardiovascular disease and it affects nearly half of men and every four in ten women. Blood pressure is the force needed to circulate blood through arteries. When this force is more than necessary, it causes arterial hypertension. It is said that blood pressure is considered to be high when it goes beyond 140/90 mmHg.

Hypertension is known as ‘silent murderer’ for the reason that in most of the cases, it has no symptoms and develops heart or kidney issues without being aware of the patient.


Most of the time there is a specific trigger of hypertension, called primary or essential hypertension. 90% of this group would be hypertensive. Despite having no precise reason, it is known that there are situations that enhance probability of developing high blood pressure like old age and family history. The presence of other diseases like diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity also predispose to hypertension.

There is a small percentage of cases in which hypertension is the secondary to any particular circumstance as use of alcohol, use of particular drugs i.e. corticosteroids, anti-inflammatory, contraceptive in women and kidney disease.


Since it causes the risk of cardiovascular diseases, which are those that affect the arterial vessels and cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death. There is no zero risk and no dividing line below which there is no risk, but the values that we consider normal are those that have less risk of complications.


It could be the first sign, indicating that various body organs are under attack and at risk of injury. Early recognition of lesions, and the treatment and control of hypertension can slow the development of cardiovascular diseases triggered by this.

Obviously, when there is an organic lesion in tissues, prognosis is worse and it may develop serious diseases which can cause death as stroke and cerebral thrombosis, myocardial infarction, and renal failure which may require dialysis.


It is recommended to take blood pressure test at least once from 14 years of age and repeat every 4-5 years and take it up to 40, based on 40 every 1-2 years regardless of age. If there is any other specific condition, it should be performed with appropriate intervals as per the physician’s discretion.

The dividing line between normal tension and high tension is arbitrary, since there are no values that mean zero risk, but if blood pressures remain above 140/90 mm Hg in several determinations, usually at least three, it states the diagnosis of hypertension.


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