Things you need to know about the Silent Killer

05 Sep, 2022

Scientific term

High blood pressure (HBP, or hypertension) also known as the Silent Killer, is a chronic condition in which the long-term force of the blood against your artery walls is higher than normal levels. High blood pressure develops slowly over time, and is common in older adults but children can also develop HBP.

Symptoms

Most people with high blood pressure have no signs or symptoms, a few people with high blood pressure may have headaches, dizziness, nosebleeds, or fatigue.

Types of Hypertension

There are two types of Hypertension:
  • Primary hypertension is also known as essential hypertension. 90-95 percent of adults with hypertension fall under this category.
  • Secondary hypertension is usually is caused by another medical condition such as kidney diseases or hormonal imbalance. Only about 5 to 10 percent of hypertension is the secondary type.

Risk factors

The risk of developing hypertension increases with age, people over 50 are more likely to develop it. Other risk factors include genetics predispositions, overweight and obesity, lack of physical activity, smoking, unhealthy diet: high salt intake and/or low potassium intake (insufficient portions of fruits and vegetables), alcohol consumption, and stress.
Normal blood pressure is for most adults is defined as a systolic pressure of less than 120 and a diastolic pressure of less than 80. People with elevated blood pressure readings must consult a doctor who will perform the necessary tests.

Complications

Uncontrolled hypertension might lead to serious complications including stroke, cerebral hemorrhage, heart attack, cardiomyopathy, kidney dysfunction resulting in subsequent renal failure, and retinal diseases.

Prevention

High blood pressure can often be prevented or reduced by: following a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, taking regular exercise, abstaining from alcohol, not smoking. Treatment includes taking diuretics, blood pressure regulation by maintaining healthy kidneys, and Vasodilators.