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Hypertension

24 Jan 2012
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OVERVIEW

Blood pressure is defined as the pressure of blood in the circulatory system, relating to rate of heartbeat. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, means that the heart is having to work harder to pump blood around the body.

High blood pressure can result in conditions such as kidney failure, stroke, heart aneurysm and failure occur.

 

Causes

Risk factors for high blood pressure include:

  • Living a sedentary lifestyle
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Stress
  • Eating a diet high in sodium
  • Family history
  • Aging
  • Chronic illness

 

Symptoms
  • Persistent headache
  • Blurry vision
  • Double vision
  • Nosebleeds
  • Shortness of breath

 

Treatment

Treatment for high blood pressure can include:

  • Cutting salt intake
  • Eating a healthy and balanced diet
  • Cutting down on alcohol consumption
  • Regular exercise
  • Avoiding smoking
  • Losing weight
  • Drinking less coffee
  • Relaxation techniques and therapies
  • Identifying underlying illnesses

 

Prevention
  • Eating a healthy and balanced, low-fat diet
  • Cut down on salt intake
  • Cut down on alcohol intake
  • Cut down on coffee/caffeine intake
  • Avoid smoking
  • Regular exercise
  • Relaxation techniques and therapies

 

 

If you have any of the above symptoms consult your general practitioner.

 

VIDEOS

 

Video: High Blood Pressure Facts

 

RESOURCES & SUPPORT

Local

Heart Foundation NZ

 

International

Best Health BMJ – High Blood Pressure
NHS – Blood Pressure

 

RESEARCH

Journal of the American Medical Association
British Medical Journal
The Lancet

 

FORUMS

eHealthForum – High Blood Pressure
Personal Blood Pressure Log – Forum

 

 

DISCLAIMER
The information above is of a general nature and is designed to provide you with an overview of the topic, with links to local and international resources that may be of interest.  We do our best to ensure that this information is accurate and up to date.

You should always, however, seek specific professional medical advice, treatment and care appropriate to you, and as such we strongly recommend you consult with your general practitioner first.

 

 

Updated April 2012
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons – High Blood Pressure