Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is the most common cardiovascular disorder affecting populations across the world. Blood pressure actually indicates the force of blood pushing against artery walls as it flows through the arteries or blood vessels in the human body. Blood vessels get filled by blood up to a certain capacity. Too much pressure of blood on the vessel wall, or high blood pressure, can threaten healthy arteries and lead to life-threatening conditions such as heart disease and stroke. High blood pressure is hazardous due to its propensity to cause strokes, heart attacks, heart failure, or kidney disease. Everybody should be aware of his/her blood pressure.
Generally, high blood pressure is categorized as:
- Normal blood pressure: less than 120/80
- Prehypertension: 120-139/80-89
- Hypertension: greater than 140/90
- Stage 1 Hypertension:140-159/90-99
- Stage 2 Hypertension: 160 or greater/100 or greater
Treatment strategies to manage high blood pressure include changing lifestyle suitably and possibly drug therapy to lower blood pressure to less than 140/90. For patients who have diabetes or chronic kidney disease the recommended blood pressure is less than 130/80. The aim of management is to lower high blood pressure and protect important organs, like the brain, heart, and kidneys from damage. Research has found that treatment for hypertension causes a significant reduction in stroke (reduced an average of 35%-40%), heart attack (20%-25%), and heart failure (more than 50%).