Health

Want to see a doctor amid COVID-19? Use telehealth

We are being told to stay home and practice social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, but where does that leave people with routine doctor appointments? What about someone who notices a lump in her breast? Or has worrisome ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

What people with high blood pressure need to know about COVID-19

Many people have concerns about staying healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Those with a chronic condition such as high blood pressure—a reading above 130/80—may face an increased risk for severe complications if they ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Renal denervation effective in patients with untreated hypertension

Three months after undergoing renal denervation (RDN)—a procedure that delivers energy to overactive nerves leading to the kidney to decrease their activity—patients with untreated high blood pressure had statistically ...

Neuroscience

Non-invasive method to predict brain pressure

The only way to accurately measure pressure inside the skull is to insert a catheter or sensor inside. However, this is invasive and techniques with less risk are desired. Intracranial pressure (ICP) needs to be correctly ...

Addiction

Heavy drinking into older age adds 4 cm to waistline

More than half of drinkers aged 59 and over have been heavy drinkers and this is linked to a significantly larger waistline and increased stroke risk, according to a new UCL study.

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Hypertension (HTN) or high blood pressure, sometimes arterial hypertension, is a chronic medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is elevated. This requires the heart to work harder than normal to circulate blood through the blood vessels. Blood pressure involves two measurements, systolic and diastolic, which depend on whether the heart muscle is contracting (systole) or relaxed (diastole) between beats. Normal blood pressure is at or below 120/80 mmHg. High blood pressure is said to be present if it is persistently at or above 140/90 mmHg.

Hypertension is classified as either primary (essential) hypertension or secondary hypertension; about 90–95% of cases are categorized as "primary hypertension" which means high blood pressure with no obvious underlying medical cause. The remaining 5–10% of cases (secondary hypertension) are caused by other conditions that affect the kidneys, arteries, heart or endocrine system.

Hypertension is a major risk factor for stroke, myocardial infarction (heart attacks), heart failure, aneurysms of the arteries (e.g. aortic aneurysm), peripheral arterial disease and is a cause of chronic kidney disease. Even moderate elevation of arterial blood pressure is associated with a shortened life expectancy. Dietary and lifestyle changes can improve blood pressure control and decrease the risk of associated health complications, although drug treatment is often necessary in patients for whom lifestyle changes prove ineffective or insufficient.

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