High Blood Pressure

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What Is High Blood Pressure? High blood pressure (hypertension) is a chronic (persistent) condition where the blood pressure in the arteries remains without intervention. Blood pressure is actually the measurement of two pressures in the cardiovascular system. These are: Systolic pressure - the initial high pressure that blood pumps out of the heart and into the arteries and around the body (higher reading). Diastolic pressure – is the lowest resting blood pressure in the arteries in between heartbeats. A general healthy blood pressure is 120/80, (120 – systolic, 80 – diastolic). Blood pressures lower than 90/65 and greater than 140/90 are considered low and high respectively and should be assessed by the patients GP. High blood pressure a particularly dangerous disease because patients don’t display any visible symptoms. Most high blood pressure patients don't know about their condition until there is a complication. If untreated, uncontrolled high blood pressure can cause increased risk of: heart attack coronary artery disease heart failure stroke circulation problems Sometimes the causes of high blood pressure are not very easily recognised. This type of blood pressure is classified as “Primary” or “Essential” high blood pressure. This type develops over time (several years) and doesn’t show any symptoms. “Secondary” high blood pressure is the type of blood pressure that appears suddenly and more severely because of another condition. Several conditions are known to raise blood pressure in this way, such as: Sleep apnoea Thyroid problems Adrenal gland tumours Kidney function problems Sex hormone issues Medications, such as some prescription medicines, contraceptives, HRT, cold and flu treatments, some painkillers and decongestants can also cause this type of high blood pressure. Different classes of high blood pressure medicines Different types of drugs are used to regulate and control blood pressure. This is because some are more effective for certain types of blood pressure and for patients of different demographics (different genetics = different response to medicines). The main classes are: AngiotensinConverting Enzyme (ACE) inhibitors Angiotensin II Receptor Blocker (ARBs) Betablockers Diuretics (water tablets) Calcium channel blockers Centrally acting antihypertensives The suitability of which drug is initially prescribed for a patient by their GP will be down to a few factors such as age, weight, sex, ethnicity and progression of your disease. Once stable, dose changes and medication changes are rare.

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High Blood Pressure

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High Blood Pressure

What Is High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure (hypertension) is a chronic (persistent) condition where the blood pressure in the arteries remains without intervention. Blood pressure is actually the measurement of two pressures in the cardiovascular system. These are:

  1. Systolic pressure - the initial high pressure that blood pumps out of the heart and into the arteries and around the body (higher reading).
  2. Diastolic pressure – is the lowest resting blood pressure in the arteries in between heartbeats.

A general healthy blood pressure is 120/80, (120 – systolic, 80 – diastolic). Blood pressures lower than 90/65 and greater than 140/90 are considered low and high respectively and should be assessed by the patients GP.

High blood pressure a particularly dangerous disease because patients don’t display any visible symptoms. Most high blood pressure patients don't know about their condition until there is a complication. If untreated, uncontrolled high blood pressure can cause increased risk of:

  • heart attack
  • coronary artery disease
  • heart failure
  • stroke
  • circulation problems

Sometimes the causes of high blood pressure are not very easily recognised. This type of blood pressure is classified as “Primary” or “Essential” high blood pressure. This type develops over time (several years) and doesn’t show any symptoms.

“Secondary” high blood pressure is the type of blood pressure that appears suddenly and more severely because of another condition. Several conditions are known to raise blood pressure in this way, such as:

  • Sleep apnoea
  • Thyroid problems
  • Adrenal gland tumours
  • Kidney function problems
  • Sex hormone issues

Medications, such as some prescription medicines, contraceptives, HRT, cold and flu treatments, some painkillers and decongestants can also cause this type of high blood pressure.

Different classes of high blood pressure medicines

Different types of drugs are used to regulate and control blood pressure. This is because some are more effective for certain types of blood pressure and for patients of different demographics (different genetics = different response to medicines). The main classes are:

  • AngiotensinConverting Enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
  • Angiotensin II Receptor Blocker (ARBs)
  • Betablockers
  • Diuretics (water tablets)
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Centrally acting antihypertensives

The suitability of which drug is initially prescribed for a patient by their GP will be down to a few factors such as age, weight, sex, ethnicity and progression of your disease. Once stable, dose changes and medication changes are rare.

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