Hypertensionis one of the key health problems in the modern world, where itaffects people from all age groups. It is estimated that hypertensionaffects about 75 million Americans and it leads to about 7.1 milliondeaths annually (Loh, Rani, Chan, Loh & Moy, 2013). The data alsoshow that the number of patients being taken to emergency units dueto hypertension has been increasing at the rate of 25 % each year(Loh etal.,2013). Many people believe that stroke, chronic kidney disease,myocardial infarction, and different vascular diseases are theleading causes of death in the modern world. However, hypertensionhas been shown to be the leading cause of these killer diseases. Thisimplies that the stakeholders in the health care sector should focuson prevention of hypertension, instead of over-emphasizing on thetreatment of the chronic diseases, such as stroke, chronic kidneydisease, myocardial infarction.
Progressionand risk factors for hypertension
Althoughhypertension affects people at any age, older adults are at thehighest risk of contracting the diseases. However, hypertension maystart developing in human body starting from the age of 10 yearsuntil it becomes a complicated health condition at the age of 60years or above (Loh etal.,2013). This implies that age is among the key factors that increasethe risk of suffering from a high blood pressure. The associationbetween the age and hypertension is founded on the notion that theblood vessels tend to lose flexibility with age. Their constrictionforces the heart to pump blood at a high speed in order to meetdemand, which leads to hypertension.
Obesityis also considered as a risk for an abnormal increase in bloodpressure, and it accounts for about 70 % of all cases of hypertension(Tee, Teoh, Har, Rahman, Aiful, Tan & Khan, 2010). Obesity isassociated with the accumulation of excess bad fats and a decline inquantities of good fat (HDL), which results in constriction of theblood vessels. This forces the heart to pump blood at a high speed inorder to meet the volume that is needed in different organs, leadinga high blood pressure.
Differentsubstances (such as cigarettes and alcohol) that are commonly abusedreduce the diameter of blood vessels with time (Tee etal.,2010). This result in a significant increase in the blood pressure asthe heart tries to pump blood through the small vessels.
Hypertensionalso runs in families, which is confirmed by an observation thathaving a member of the family who have ever suffered fromhypertension is an indication that the siblings or the latergenerations are at a higher risk of suffering from the same condition(Tee etal.,2010).
Stressand leading a sedentary life also increase the risk of abnormalincrease in the blood pressure. The two factors contribute towardsthe risk of hypertension by increasing accumulation of fat deposits(Tee etal.,2010).
Possibleconsequences of hypertension
Hypertensionhas negative consequences to patients and members of their families.Hypertension strains important blood vessels (such as arteries),leading to their damage. Hypertension also increases the risk ofsuffering from other health conditions (such as stroke, kidneydeficiency, and atherosclerosis) and death (Tee etal.,2010). In addition, hypertension results in financial constraintsdue to a high cost of treating it and its related medicalcomplications.
Hypertensioncan be successfully prevented through a combination of differentstrategies. Some of the key strategies that have been confirmed to besuccessful in preventing hypertension include physical exercise,balanced diet, reducing salt intake, quitting smoking and alcoholism(Tee etal.,2010). Hypertension is mainly treated using a combination of drugs,such as beta blockers, thiazide diuretics, angiotensin-converting,rennin inhibitors, and calcium channel blockers (James, 2014).
Hypertensionis a serious medical condition that has been overlooked in the past.The fact that hypertension increases the risk of contracting othermedical conditions (such as stroke) suggests that it could be easierand cheaper to prevent than to treat it. People should avoid riskybehaviors (such as smoking) in order to lower the risk of gettinghypertension.
James,P. (2014). 2014 evidence-based guideline for the management of highblood pressure in adults: Report from the panel members appointed tothe eighth Joint National Committee. JAMA,1, 1-14. Retrieved May 8, 2016, fromhttp://www.measureuppressuredown.com/HCProf/Find/BPs/JNC8/specialCommunication.pdf
Loh,K., Rani, F., Chan, T., Loh, H. & Moy, F. (2013). The associationbetween risk factors and hypertension in Perak, Malaysia. MedMalaysia,68 (4), 291-296. Retrieved May 6, 2016, fromhttp://www.e-mjm.org/2013/v68n4/risk-factors-and-hypertension.pdf
Tee,S., Teoh, X., Har, C., Rahman, W., Aiful, A., Tan, Z. & Khan, A.(2010). The prevalence of hypertension and its associated riskfactors in two rural communities in Penang, Malaysia. Internationale-Journal of Science, Medicine, and Education,4 (2), 27-40. Retrieved May 6, 2016, fromhttp://web.imu.edu.my/ejournal/approved/5.Original_TanSyerRee.pdf