Cardiology

ACC/AHA guidance for preventing heart disease, stroke released

The choices we make every day can have a lasting effect on our heart and vascular health. Adopting a heart healthy eating plan, getting more exercise, avoiding tobacco and managing known risk factors are among the key recommendations ...

Cardiology

Researchers study blood pressure control and risk of mortality

Until recently, physicians had generally assumed that older adults benefit from keeping their blood pressure below 140/90 mmHg. However, researchers from Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin have now found that this assumption ...

Cardiology

Black woman in their 50s face especially high stroke risk

Black women in their 50s may have more than triple the risk of stroke compared to white women of the same age, according to a new study that also found a healthy lifestyle could help curb much of that risk.

Obstetrics & gynaecology

Pregnancy disorder subject of new Tulane study

An imaging technique used to detect some forms of cancer can also help detect preeclampsia in pregnancy before it becomes a life-threatening condition, a new Tulane study says.

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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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