Latest updates on the coronavirus and heart disease
High blood pressure or hypertension
affects at least 1 in 4 men and 1 in 5 women
Home > Hypertension
High blood pressure, or hypertension affects at least 1 in 4 men and 1 in 5 women – over a billion people. However, only half of all people with blood pressure are aware of it.
Hypertension increases the pressure of blood flow in arteries, ultimately affecting proper organ functioning that depends on blood supply. It can lead to stroke, of which there are three types: ischemic, haemorraghic and transient ischemic or “mini-stroke”.
Hypertension is defined as blood pressure above 140/90, and is considered severe if the pressure is above 180/120. Primary hypertension with no obvious cause develops gradually while secondary hypertension is caused by an underlying condition and may manifest suddenly.
Damaged arteries due to high blood pressure can often happen over a considerable time period, making it sometimes difficult to address before symptoms such as fatigue, confusion, chest pain and others occur. Serious consequences include stroke as well as diseases of the heart which pumps blood, the kidneys that filter excess fluid and waste, interference with metabolism and increased risk of diabetes, and the brain.
A number of causes can lead to hypertension. These include sleep apnea, kidney or thyroid issues, birth defects, drug use, and certain medications even some that are non-prescription or over-the-counter. Exacerbating the risk can be hereditary factors, age, and race (found to be more common those of African heritage). But lifestyle risks play a definitive role too and there is much we can do: