Hypertension affects more than 25% of adult population1Journal of Hypertension: October 2018 – Volume 36 – Issue 10 – p 1953–2041, doi: 10.1097/HJH.0000000000001940, GUIDELINES in Europe. It is a significant factor in increasing the risk of chronic kidney disease, vascular disease, myocardial infarction, and stroke. Therefore, the European Society of Hypertension (ESH) issued updated guidelines in 2018 to improve hypertension treatment.
What is Hypertension?
Hypertension occurs when there is a drastic increase in your blood pressure. Your blood pressure is dependent on the work your heart is doing, as well as the blood vessels’ resistance. Having high blood pressure means that your blood is applying a high amount of force against the walls of your blood vessels.
Hypertension is also referred to as
a silent killer, as in many cases, it comes with no warning symptoms or signs. Over time, the pressure buildup results in the
accumulation of damage that can be too much for your circulatory system to
handle. This results in severe health
issues such as Coronary Artery Disease, Heart Failure, Dementia and Stroke.
Blood Pressure Numbers
In order to fully interpret your blood pressure readings, it is essential to understand how blood pressure is measured. Blood pressure can be measured by the following two numbers:
The systolic number is the top number in a blood pressure reading. While your heart is beating, it transfers blood through your arteries as it squeezes. The force with which your blood travels throughout the body creates a certain pressure on your blood vessels. The amount of pressure in your arteries during the contraction of your heart muscle is called the systolic number.
The diastolic number is the bottom number in a blood pressure reading. It indicates the pressure in your arteries when your heart rests between beats; the resistance to the blood flow in the blood vessels. It is during this time that the heart fills with blood and gets oxygen.
Both these numbers are measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg).
Blood Pressure Categories
Your blood pressure categories are as follows:
|Blood Pressure Categories||European Society of Caridology / European Society of Hypertension Guidelines|
|Systolic Measurement||Diastolic Measurement|
|Grade 1 Hypertension||140-159||and/or||90-99|
|Grade 2 Hypertension||160-179||and/or||100-109|
|Grade 3 Hypertension||≥180||and/or||≥110|
|Isolated Systolic Hypertension||≥140||and||<90|
These updated guidelines are expected to ensure early detection and intervention of hypertension. According to the new recommendations, blood pressure lowering drugs such as ACE inhibitors, angiotensin-2 receptor blockers (ARB) or calcium channel blockers should be offered to patients with 10% or more risk of cardiovascular disease.
Due to these updated guidelines, major positive changes could be
made in the lives of hypertension patients and reduce blood pressure issues
linked with age. The major aim of these new changes is to improve the process
of management and detection of hypertension over the next ten years.
While hypertension is common among adults, young
individuals and children are also at risk. The major cause of hypertension among
youngsters is unhealthy lifestyle, including lack of physical activity and poor
diet. It is essential to start taking
the right measures to prevent hypertension early on by making positive
lifestyle changes such as adding regular exercise to your
daily routine and eating foods that help to lower
blood pressure. Moreover,
it is highly recommended that you consult your doctor to discuss the right
preventive measures and treatments for hypertension.