High blood pressure | Nutrisens

High blood pressure puts a stress on artery walls. Under stress or during exercise, it is normal for blood pressure to increase. However, constantly high blood pressure, even when resting, is abormal. High blood pressure for an extended period can cause several illnesses.

Worldwide, high blood pressure causes 7 million deaths per year and the number of people affected could reach 1.5 billion by 2025.

The condition, also known as hypertension, is the root cause of a third of all strokes (cerebrovascular accidents) and affects 20% of adults.

The risk of high blood pressure increases with age. Very uncommon before the age of 20, the condition affects 40% of over 65-year- olds and 90% of over 85-year- olds.

According to a 2009 French health report:

of 15 million people with high blood pressure, 12 million receive treatment, but only half of them have their blood pressure monitored. Only one person in two realises that they have high blood pressure.

High blood pressure often goes unnoticed as there are no particular symptoms, except when a related disease sets in. Hypertension is such a risk that it is often known as the “silent killer”.

The only way of detecting high blood pressure is to monitor blood pressure. Symptoms often appear when organs show signs of deficiency. The most frequent signs are tiredness, headaches, nose bleeds and buzzing in the ears.

There may also be palpitations, chest pains and troubles with balance.

Causes

  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Age
  • Diet (high in salt and fat and/or excess alcohol)
  • Genes (family history)
  • Stress
  • Lack of exercise
  • Kidney disease

Risks

  • Heart attack or stroke
  • Cerebral and leg artery atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
  • Hypertrophy (heart becoming abnormally large)
  • Kidney disease
  • High blood pressure wears the arteries and they become stiff. This causes a build-up of cholesterol.

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