Hypertension: Blood Pressure Measurements

Good Essays
Hypertension 1

Hypertension Timothy L. McNeill
Richmond Community College

Hypertension 2

Hypertension is a chronic medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is elevated. Blood pressure is summarized in by two measurements, systolic and diastolic, which depend on whether the heart is muscle is contracting (systole) or relaxed between beats (diastole). Normal blood pressure at rest is within the range of 100-140mmHg systolic (top reading) and 60-90mmHg diastolic (bottom reading). High blood pressure is said to present if it is often at or above 140/90 mmHg. For most cases of mild to moderate hypertension there are no symptoms. The condition has
…show more content…
Physicians are using new methods of treating high blood pressure. Hypertension is the most common condition for which Americans take prescription medication. Physicians are currently prescribing fewer diuretics and beta blockers, the recommended first-line agents for hypertension, and more angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and calcium channel blockers (CCBs). Although ACE inhibitors reduce rates of morbidity and mortality in patients with cardiovascular disease, the same cannot be said for CCBs, for which no similar morbidity/mortality data exist. Short-acting dihydropyridine CCBs should be avoided in the treatment of hypertension, and other CCBs should be added to the regimen only if control is not achieved with a beta blocker, diuretic, and/or ACE inhibitor. The Antihypertensive and Lipid-Lowering Treatment to Prevent Heart Attack Trial (ALLHAT) involved 33,357 men and women older than 55 years with hypertension and at least one other risk factor for ischemic heart disease. Participants were randomized to treatment with a CCB (amlodipine), a diuretic (chlorthalidone), or an ACE inhibitor (lisinopril), with a mean follow-up time of 4.9 years. The results demonstrated that the thiazide diuretic chlorthalidone was superior to the other medications in preventing nonfatal myocardial infarction (MI), stroke, and heart
Hypertension 5

failure, and was significantly less expensive. However,
Get Access