Friday, September 5, 2008

Hypertension Causes and Treatments

High blood pressure (also known as hypertension) is a dangerous and deadly disease. Many people each year die from this disease because they never knew they were affected by it. Hypertension is considered to be present when a patient's systolic blood pressure is consistently 140 mmHg or greater, and/or their diastolic blood pressure is consistently 90 mmHg or greater. This is also known as 140/90 when the nurse or doctor tells you what your blood pressure is during a checkup. Hypertension can be difficult to control but it can be corrected by non-drug therapies especially in children. The non-drug therapy includes weight loss, reduction in salt intake and physical activity.

Hypertension can be diagnosed after one reading, if this reveals extreme hypertension. In most cases, an extensive work-up is not needed to diagnose it. High blood pressure can be a major factor in cardiac failure. In fact, many patients who suffer from hypertension wind up either suffering a stroke or heart attack , and it is mainly to prevent these complications that we treat hypertension. The good new is that hypertension can be prevented, blood pressure can be reduced and other cardiovascular risks are favorably impacted by a healthy diet, regular physical activity, moderation in alcohol, reductions in dietary sodium and in some, stress reduction.

Hypertension can be caused by risk factors that you can change in some people and cannot change in others. Age is a factor (45 and over for men and 55 and over for women) and a family history of hypertension or cardiovascular disease are risk factors that you cannot control.

Treatment of hypertension can include a continuous intravenous infusion of prostacyclin. This improves exercise capacity, quality of life, hemodynamics and long-term survival in patients with primary pulmonary hypertension. Management of secondary pulmonary hypertension includes correction of the underlying cause and reversal of hypoxemia. Treatment with a non-selective beta blocker is often commenced once portal hypertension has been diagnosed, and almost always if there has already been bleeding from esophageal varices. Typically, this is done with either propranolol or nadolol . Common beta blockers include acebutolol (Sectral), atenolol (Tenormin), bisoprolol (Zebeta), metoprolol (Lopressor), nadolol (Corgard), and timolol (Blocadren), nebivolol (Bystolic). Treatment may involve angioplasty and stenting of the renal arteries.

Dean Novosat writes and reports on health issues at Hypertension

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Dean Novosat - EzineArticles Expert Author