Hypertension is a silent, invisible killer that rarely causes symptoms.Raised blood pressure is a serious warning sign that significant lifestyles changes is urgently needed.

Hypertension is defined as consistent rise in blood pressure over a period of time. It may be defined as systolic pressure measuring of 140mmhg or more and diastolic of 90 mmhg and above.  Hypertension is responsible for at least 45% of deaths due to heart disease and 51% of deaths due to stroke.

CLASSIFICATION OF HYPERTENSION

*Primary ( essential) hypertension: a type of hypertension of unknown cause. Mostly 90-95% of cases stem from essential hypertension.

*Secondary hypertension : a type of hypertension of a known cause . Usually present in 5-10% of adults.

RISK FACTORS

*Age

*Gender

*Family history

* Excess body weight.

* Lack of physical activity

*Excessive alcohol intake

*Race ( predominant in African Americans)

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

* Fatigue

* Blurred vision

* Muscle cramps

* Dizziness

* Headache

*Palpitations

*Difficulty in breathing etc

CAUSES

*Drug induced or related

* Chronic kidney disease

*Drug abuse ( steroids abuse)

*Lack of sleep

*Family history

*Diabetes

MANAGEMENT OF HYPERTENSION

* Engaging in therapeutic lifestyle changes such as smoking cessation, regular physical activity, reduction in alcohol intake and reducing salt intake.

* Reporting to the nearest hospital whenever any of the above symptoms are experienced.

*Reducing animal fat intake.

*Weight reduction in obese and overweight individuals

*Avoid or quit smoking

*Following medication instructions and counseling from health professionals

*Regular hospital reviews.

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