High Blood Pressure : How can high blood pressure be detected ?


The common disease of high blood pressure affects the arteries in the body. also referred to as hypertension. If you have high blood pressure, the steady pressure of the blood against the artery walls is too great. To pump blood, the heart has to work harder.

Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg).

 A value of 130/80 mm Hg or higher is typically considered to be hypertension.

First-stage hypertension. The maximum value falls between 130 and 139 mm Hg, and the bottom number lies between 80 and 89 mm Hg.

Second-stage hypertension. The top number is at least 140 millimeters of mercury, or the bottom number is at least 90.

A blood pressure reading of more than 180/120 mm Hg is considered to be a hypertensive emergency or crisis. Get emergency medical care if you or someone you know gets these blood pressure levels.

If untreated, high blood pressure increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other serious health problems.

 Starting at age 18, it is critical to have your blood pressure monitored at least every two years. Some people require more frequent examinations.

Healthy behaviours can help, such as not smoking, exercising, and eating well. lower blood pressure and treat it. Some individuals require medication to lower their blood pressure.

Causes Of High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is influenced by both how much blood the heart pumps and how difficult it is for the blood to move through the arteries. Blood pressure rises as the heart pumps more blood and as the arteries become more constricted.

Here are the two main categories of high blood pressure:

Essential hypertension is another name for primary hypertension.

The vast majority of people have high blood pressure for unknown reasons. These types of high blood pressure are referred to as primary hypertension or essential hypertension. Typically, steady growth takes many years. The risk of high blood pressure is increased by atherosclerosis, which is a buildup of plaque in the arteries.

Subsequent hypertension

An underlying sickness is the cause of such high blood pressure. It frequently manifests suddenly and raises blood pressure more than primary hypertension does. The following conditions and medications might cause secondary hypertension:

  • Adrenal gland tumours
  • Congenital cardiac abnormalities, or birth malformations of the blood vessels.
  • Prescription drugs, including birth control pills, analgesics, and cures for the common cold
  • Illicit substances like cocaine and amphetamines
  • Kidney illness
  • Obstructive snoring
  • Thyroid issues

How can high blood pressure be detected?

Screening for high blood pressure is a crucial component of general healthcare. How frequently you should get your blood pressure checked depends on your age and overall health.

Screening for high blood pressure is a crucial component of general healthcare. How frequently you should get your blood pressure checked depends on your age and overall health.

Beginning at the age of 18, ask your doctor to monitor your blood pressure at least every two years. If you are 40 or older, or between the ages of 18 and 39, and you have a high chance of getting high blood pressure, ask for a yearly blood pressure check.

Your healthcare provider could suggest having your blood pressure tested more regularly if you have high blood pressure or other heart disease risk factors.

As part of their regular exams, children three years old and older may have their blood pressure checked.

You might be eligible for a free blood test if you do not regularly see a healthcare professional.

Risk Factors For High Blood Pressure

There are various risk factors for high blood pressure, including:

Age. As people age, their risk of having high blood pressure rises. Up until age 64, men are more likely than women to have high blood pressure. Women are more likely to have high blood pressure beyond the age of 65.

Family background. If either of your parents or a sibling has high blood pressure, you are more likely to get it yourself.

Being overweight or obese. As a result of being overweight, the kidneys, blood vessels, and other organs of the body change. Frequently, these modifications raise blood pressure. Obesity and being overweight increase a person's chance of developing heart disease.

Exercise inactivity. Lack of exercise can lead to weight gain. Weight gain raises the chance of developing high blood pressure. Heart rates are usually higher in inactive persons.

Either smoking or vaping. There is a brief but abrupt rise in blood pressure brought on by smoking, chewing tobacco, or vaping. Smoking harms the blood vessel walls and speeds up the hardening of the arteries. If you presently smoke, seek guidance from a healthcare expert on how to quit.

Excessive salt. If the body contains too much salt, also known as sodium, it may retain water. Blood pressure is raised as a result.

Low levels of potassium. Potassium helps the body's cells maintain salt equilibrium. a proper equilibrium for a heart-healthy body. Low potassium levels can be caused by a low-potassium diet or by a number of illnesses, such as dehydration.

Overindulging in booze. Blood pressure has been linked to drinking alcohol, especially in men.

Stress. Blood pressure may briefly increase if you're under a lot of stress. Increased blood pressure might result from stress-related behaviours including eating more, smoking, or drinking alcohol.

Symptoms Of High Blood Pressure

Even when blood pressure readings are at dangerously high levels, the majority of people with high blood pressure show no symptoms. Years may go by while you have high blood pressure with no signs or symptoms.

Several individuals with high blood pressure can have:

  • Headaches
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Nosebleeds

These symptoms are general, though. They typically do not show up until high blood pressure has gotten to the point where it is dangerous or life-threatening.

High Blood Pressure Treatment Options

Adapting your way of life can help you manage and control high blood pressure. Your doctor might advise you to adopt new lifestyle practices like:

  • Consuming a salt-free, heart-healthy diet
  • Performing regular exercise
  • Keeping a healthy weight or reducing it
  • Limits on alcohol
  • Not a smoker
  • Sleeping 7 to 9 hours every day

Sometimes modifying one's lifestyle is insufficient to control high blood pressure. If these are ineffective, your doctor might suggest taking blood pressure medication.


The sort of medication used to treat hypertension is dependent upon both the severity of the condition as well as your general health. Often, two or more blood pressure medications are more effective than one. Finding the medication or medication combination that works best can take some time.

Adapting your way of life can help you manage and control high blood pressure. with you.

Knowing your target blood pressure is crucial while taking blood pressure medication. If any of the following apply, you should strive to keep your blood pressure under 130/80 mm Hg:

  • You are a 65-year-old or older healthy adult.
  • You have a 10% or higher risk of acquiring cardiovascular disease in the following 10 years as a healthy adult under the age of 65.
  • You have diabetes, coronary artery disease, or chronic kidney disease.
  • Age and health factors can affect the optimal blood pressure target, especially if you are over 65.

Among the medications for high blood pressure are:

Water tablets (diuretics). These medications aid in the body's elimination of salt and water. They are frequently used as the first line of treatment for excessive blood pressure.

Diuretics can be categorised into several groups, including thiazide, loop, and potassium-sparing. Your blood pressure readings and other medical concerns, such as kidney disease or heart failure, will determine which one your doctor advises. Chlorthalidone, hydrochlorothiazide (Microzide), and other diuretics are frequently prescribed to treat high blood pressure.

Diuretics frequently cause excessive urination as a side effect. Potassium levels can drop if you urinate a lot. The heart needs a healthy potassium balance to function properly. Your healthcare practitioner might suggest a potassium-sparing diuretic containing triamterene if you have low potassium (hypokalemia).

Inhibitors of the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE). These medicines aid blood vessel relaxation. They prevent the synthesis of a naturally occurring substance that constricts blood arteries.

Lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), benazepril (Lotensin), captopril, and other medications are examples.

Blockers of the angiotensin II receptor (ARBs). Additionally, these medications relax blood arteries. They prevent the production of a natural substance that constricts blood arteries, not its activity. Candesartan (Atacand), losartan (Cozaar), and other ARBs are examples.

Blockers of calcium channels. These medications aid in blood vessel relaxation. Some reduce heart rate. They consist of diltiazem (Cardizem, Tiazac, and others), amlodipine (Norvasc), and others. If you take calcium channel blockers, stay away from foods with grapefruit flavour. Certain calcium channel blockers are more prevalent in the blood when grapefruit is consumed, which can be harmful. If you are worried about interactions, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.

Complications of High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure puts too much pressure on the artery walls, it harms internal organs and blood vessels. As blood pressure rises and is uncontrolled for a longer period of time, the harm grows.

Uncontrolled hypertension can result in issues like:

  • A stroke or angina. The hardening and thickening of the arteries brought on by high blood pressure or other diseases may result in a heart attack, stroke, or other problems.
  • Aneurysm. A blood vessel that weakens and swells due to excessive blood pressure is known as an aneurysm. A ruptured aneurysm could endanger life.
  • A heart attack. High blood pressure makes it more difficult for the heart to pump blood. The walls of the heart's pumping chamber get thicker due to the strain. The term for the condition is left ventricular hypertrophy. When the heart can no longer efficiently pump blood to meet the body's needs, heart failure occurs.
  • Kidney issues. The blood arteries in the kidneys may narrow or weaken as a result of high blood pressure. This might harm your kidneys.
  • Eye issues. Blood vessels in the eyes may become thicker, narrower, or torn as a result of high blood pressure. Loss of vision may come from this.
  • Metabolic disorder. An assortment of metabolic disorders makes up this syndrome. It entails glucose, a sugar, breaking down irregularly. The syndrome is characterised by a larger waist circumference, elevated triglyceride levels, lower HDL cholesterol (the "good"), elevated blood pressure, and elevated blood sugar levels. You are more prone to experience these issues if you already have diabetes, heart disease, or stroke.
  • Changes in memory or comprehension. One's ability to think, remember, and learn can be affected by uncontrolled high blood pressure.
  • Dementia. Narrowed or blocked arteries can limit blood flow to the brain. This may lead to vascular dementia, a particular type of dementia. Another factor that might cause vascular dementia is a stroke that stops the blood flow to the brain.


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Page last reviewed: Mar 13, 2023

Next review due: Mar 13, 2025

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