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What Is Hypertension?
Hypertension is a very common problem that affects about 50 million people in the United States alone. It is another name for high blood pressure. It is a condition that occurs when the pressure inside of your large arteries is too high. Because it is a silent disorder, the only way to detect hypertension is to have your blood pressure measured.

What Causes Hypertension?
For more than 9 of every 10 people with hypertension, it is impossible to identify a cause for the disorder. It is known that one can inherit the tendency to hypertension from one's parents. If one of your parents has hypertension, you are more likely to develop it than if both parents have normal blood pressure.

Your environment also plays a very important role. You have a chance to avoid hypertension by:
  • Keeping your weight under control
  • Keeping physically fit
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Limiting your alcohol intake
  • Avoiding medications that may increase your blood pressure
There are other causes of hypertension. Most are due to disorders of the kidneys or endocrine glands.

Possible Consequences of Untreated Hypertension
Most people with hypertension donít even know that they have it and only about one in four hypertensive patients is receiving adequate treatment to control their hypertension. Possible consequences of untreated hypertension are very serious:

Symptom Consequence
High Arterial Pressure Risk of Stroke
Enlarged blood vessels in eyes Blurred vision, possible blindness
Thickened heart muscle due to extra work Heart need greater blood supply
Kidneys retain fluid Blood volume/pressure increased
Increased plaque buildup in arteries to legs, heart and brain Increased chance of heart attack/stroke
Blood vessels constrict Higher resistance to blood flow

Useful Links
  1. American Heart Association's Information on High Blood Pressure
    Get the facts on high blood pressure and how to live a more heart-healthy life. Find out how you can reduce your risks for heart attack and stroke with proper monitoring and simple lifestyle changes, even if you have high blood pressure.

  2. High Blood Pressure: A Common, But Controllable Disorder
    National Institute on Aging provides an easy-to-understand, comprehensive guide to understanding and treating high blood pressure. It explains the dangers of hypertension, its causes and treatments. It also discusses the way blood pressure is measured and provides a prevention checklist.

  3. High Blood Pressure Information
    This site provides the reader with the fundamental facts about high blood pressure. It is especially useful for people interested in learning about dangers as well as primary and secondary causes of hypertension.
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