Hypertension Is Characterized By Chronic Elevated Blood Pressure1

1247 Words Dec 7th, 2015 5 Pages
Background
Hypertension is characterized by chronic elevated blood pressure1. It can be a predisposing factor or secondary to heart failure. In the US, there are 75 million individuals who have hypertension with two thirds of individuals 65 years or older diagnosed. Various factors can contribute to the development of hypertension including renal disease, thyroid disease, dysregulation of hormones, and alcohol consumption. The disease also highly correlates with age as even individuals 55 years old with normal blood pressure have a 90% lifetime risk of developing hypertension with age. Left untreated, hypertension can result in retinopathy, cardiomyopathy, and stroke with the most common cause of death being coronary artery disease. The diagnoses of hypertension is primarily done by the monitoring of blood pressure with multiple readings of systolic pressure greater than 140 mmHg and diastolic pressure greater than 90 mmHg indicating stage one hypertension1,2. The evaluation of the eyes, heart, thyroid, and renal system are also important in understanding the cause and extent of hypertension. Initial treatment involves lifestyle and diet modifications such as exercise, smoking, cessation, and limited sodium intake. Patients unresponsive to lifestyle and diet modification or have a blood pressure greater than 160/100 mmHg are recommended by the American Heart Association to begin drug therapy. Current JNC-8 guidelines dictate the goal of treatment to reduce blood pressure…
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