High blood pressure – Silent killer

The current situation shows that most people often do not know they have high blood pressure (also known as hypertension or hyper-rises). On the other hand, the majority of people who know that hypertension is untreated and even if treated, most people still don’t have good blood pressure control and have to live with it for the rest of their lives.

Blood pressure is the force of the blood on the artery wall, if the blood pressure is too high, it will cause the heart to work harder to meet the blood supply and enough blood to pump throughout the body. Therefore, if the blood pressure rises too high, it is very easy to lead to a stroke and accompanied by heart attacks, in addition to damage to the kidneys and other organs.

Hypertension is often called the silent killer because it may not cause any symptoms for many years, is a common disease in the community and increases with age. The disease accounts for 8-12% of the population and patients will have to live with it for a long time. In fact, 1 in 5 people are unaware that they have hypertension. According to statistical data, 1 in 10 patients develop high blood pressure. If one takes into account the age group of the elderly, the higher the incidence is likely to be one-third of people with this disease.

High blood pressure is a condition that leaves you with severe or fatal consequences. The disease can silently damage the heart, lungs, blood vessels, brain, kidneys, etc. as well as be a major risk factor for stroke, myocardial infarction and death. Each year, 17.5 million people die from cardiovascular disease worldwide, more than 4 times: HIV-AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis combined.

In Vietnam, according to Prof. Dr. Nguyen Lan Viet – President of Vietnam Heart Association, in 2000, about 16.3% of adults had hypertension, in 2009 the proportion of adults was 25.4%. and in 2016 the proportion of adults with hypertension was at an alarming rate of 48% – “This is the red alert level for the time being.”

Learn the indicators that identify high blood pressure

When you have your blood pressure measured, the result will include two numbers, which look like a fraction, for example 120/80. The number above represents the pressure on the artery while the heart muscle contracts, also known as systolic blood pressure. The number below represents your blood pressure when the heart muscle relaxes between contractions and is called diastolic pressure. A higher number indicates that your heart has to work a lot to pump blood throughout the body.

Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury, abbreviated as mmHg. Any blood pressure reading between 120/80 mmHg and above 90/60 mmHg will be considered normal.

A blood pressure reading higher than 120/80 mmHg is considered a warning sign to pay more attention to cardiovascular habits. When systolic blood pressure (larger number) is between 120 and 139 mmHg or if diastolic blood pressure (smaller number) is in the range of 80 – 89 mmHg, it means that you are in the stage of pre-hypertension.

Stage 1: High blood pressure has no obvious symptoms

When you have blood pressure above 180/110 mmHg, headache may be the first sign of concern. But, headache symptoms will not appear in case of a slight increase in blood pressure.

Stage 2: The patient has physical damage such as left ventricular thickening, increased proteinuria, angina, myocardial infarction …

Stage 3: Injury to many organs such as brain, eyes (petechiae, macular edema, blurred vision), kidney failure and progresses very quickly.

Stage 4: Malignant phase: In this stage, blood pressure is often very high, headache, dizziness. At the same time cause brain complications (cerebral hemorrhage, stroke paralysis), atherosclerosis causing stroke and stroke, heart (heart failure, cardiac asthma, myocardial infarction), renal failure, …

The causes of high blood pressure

High blood fat blocks the artery walls, making it difficult for blood to flow, causing blood pressure to rise. The incidence of high blood pressure varies between groups. For example, in the US, African-Americans have a higher number of people than other people, and the number of people hospitalized for this cause is also higher. Experts say this condition is linked to rates of obesity, diabetes and stroke.

Some diseases that affect high blood pressure include: chronic kidney disease, kidney failure, glomerulonephritis, pyelonephritis; Adrenal tumor, HC Cushing; Tumor or thyroid disease; Preeclampsia; Diabetes; Obesity or overweight; Steatosis; Lack of absorption of calcium, potassium, magnesium. Vitamin D deficiency; Blood toxin from pesticides, additives, food preservatives in food and beverages, …

Besides, diet and non-scientific lifestyle are also causes of hypertension: Smoking, drinking alcohol, beer a lot; Eating and stimulating substances, eating salty; use of medicine as oral contraceptives; living regime; lack of physical activity; The job requires long sitting, stress, …

High blood pressure is considered a common disease in older people. From 45 years and older, men have more hypertension than women. Hypertension is more common in both men and women as they age, but it is more common in women in their 65s. For malignant hypertension, younger people are at higher risk than older patients.

High blood pressure is also inherited in families with a family history of hypertension or if you have diabetes. About 60% of people with diabetes will have hypertension.

Pregnancy hypertension is a type of hypertension that occurs in the second half of pregnancy in people who have never had hypertension before. If left untreated, it can lead to a more serious condition than preeclampsia, which is dangerous for both the mother and the fetus. This condition can reduce the amount of blood and oxygen to the fetus and affect the mother’s kidney and brain. After birth, the mother can return to normal blood pressure.

People with hypertension are closely monitored. A number of blood tests will be done, possibly several times to assess the condition of the kidneys and other organs. Occasionally, complication tests may be needed and an ultrasound to view images of the heart or other organs may be performed.

Common symptoms and complications of high blood pressure

Because hypertension affects the organ system directly sensitive to blood pressure (kidneys, eyes, brain, cardiovascular system), symptoms of the disease are often related to problems in those organs such as blurred vision, flowers. dizziness, chest pain, convulsions, decreased urine output, hematuria, numbness / tingling in hands, feet or face, severe headache, shortness of breath, etc. These symptoms are often associated with conditions. danger such as heart attack, stroke or kidney problems.

How to prevent high blood pressure?

High blood pressure is caused by many other diseases, so it is necessary to treat diseases that affect high blood pressure. Diet and lifestyle changes can also improve blood pressure and reduce the risk of complications, although it may still require appropriate product treatment in cases where the measures change. lifestyle has no effect or does not reduce to target blood pressure.

The first step in treating high blood pressure is to make reasonable lifestyle changes such as diet, exercise and weight loss.

Lifestyle changes can lower blood pressure in some patients. The effect is similar to the drug use. However, besides complying with the general principles such as eating bland, limiting animal fat, abstaining from stimulants, etc., patients often become confused when choosing to use specific foods and drinks. in daily activities.

Not salty, low-salt diets are beneficial. Research for Europeans shows that if you follow a low-salt diet for more than 4 weeks, you will see a decrease in blood pressure, in both normal and hypertensive patients. DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, a diet rich in chestnuts, fish, poultry, fruits and vegetables that reduce blood pressure; drink less alcohol, coffee and other stimulants …

Establish reasonable living habits such as keeping the optimism, walking every day, exercising, getting enough sleep, avoiding strenuous activity or strong emotions … Other treatments to reduce stress Menopause such as biofeedback, relaxation or meditation can treat blood pressure.

Treatments for diseases

Hypertension is a long-term disease. It is important that you take your medication and continue monitoring your blood pressure. Patients need to keep it under control to reduce their risk of stroke, cardiovascular disease and kidney failure.

These groups of drugs are used in the treatment of hypertension:

  • Diuretic group: This is a drug that helps increase salt excretion from the body and increases urine. Diuretics are often the first choice if diet and exercise are not enough to lower blood pressure. The drug helps the body eliminate salt and water, lowering blood pressure. That means you will urinate more.
    Beta blockers help reduce the heart rate, helping the heart to work harder. It is also used to treat other cardiovascular conditions, such as arrhythmias; and may be ordered with other medications.
  • ACE inhibitors (ACE): ACE inhibitors produce angiotensin II – a vasoconstrictor. The result is vasodilation, lowering blood pressure as well as reducing the burden of the heart. Pregnant women should not use ACE inhibitors.
  • ARB blockers (ARBs): Instead of reducing the production of angiotensin II, these drugs block receptors that receive angiotensin, losing vasoconstrictor effects and reducing blood pressure. Medication may take a few weeks to work.
  • Calcium channel blockers reduce the transport of calcium into heart cells and blood vessels. Because calcium increases myocardial contractility, these drugs reduce myocardial contractility and vasodilation.
  • Other drugs that can cause vasodilation include alpha blockers, vasodilators and drugs that act on the central nervous system. Your doctor may recommend these medications if other antihypertensive drugs are not effective or if you have other medical conditions.

It is known that the best treatment solution currently debated is Cochrane collaboration, WHO and the United States using low-dose thiazide diuretics. The UK guidelines emphasize the use of calcium channel blockers (CCBs) for people over 55 years of age or of African or Caribbean descent, while adolescents should use angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors. (ACE-I). In Japan, treatment can be started with one of six groups: CCB, ACEI / ARB, thiazide diuretics, beta-blockers and alpha-blockers. While Canada and Europe are all groups, alpha-blockers are recommended.


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