Hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure. Blood pressure refers to the pressure that blood applies to the inner walls of the arteries. Arteries carry blood from the heart to other organs and parts of the body.
Hypertension is a common health problem. In the United States, approximately 46 percent of adults have hypertension.
Hypertension is more common as people grow older. In the United States, for example, hypertension is present in 76 percent of adults aged 65 to 74 years and 82 percent of adults aged 75 years or older.
Unfortunately, many people’s blood pressure is not well controlled. According to a national survey, hypertension was in good control in only 47 percent of adults.
Untreated high blood pressure increases the strain on the heart and arteries, eventually causing organ damage. High blood pressure increases the risk of heart failure, heart attack (myocardial infarction), stroke, and kidney failure.
People with elevated blood pressure are at increased risk of developing hypertension and cardiovascular complications; however, medications used to treat hypertension are not known to be beneficial in people with elevated blood pressure.
Most adults with hypertension have primary hypertension (formerly called “essential” hypertension), which means that the cause of the high blood pressure is not known. A small subset of adults has secondary hypertension, which means that there is an underlying and potentially correctable cause, usually a kidney or hormonal disorder.
Many people are anxious when seeing a doctor or nurse. As a result, you are not diagnosed with hypertension unless your blood pressure is persistently high at two office visits at least one week apart.
The only exceptions to this are if the blood pressure is very high or if you have damage from high blood pressure, such as heart, eye, or kidney injury. Before a decision is made to begin treatment, you may be asked to measure your blood pressure at home or work.
Untreated hypertension can lead to a variety of complications, including heart disease and stroke. The risk of these complications increases as your blood pressure rises above 110/75, which is still in the healthy range. Treating high blood pressure can reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke, and death.
Dr. Varma can diagnose and formulate a treatment plan and have concrete goals.