Obstetrics & gynaecology

Researchers make strides in detecting preeclampsia risk

Preeclampsia, a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure, occurs in about 7 percent of pregnancies and is a leading cause of maternal mortality and premature birth. The condition can appear in a variety ...

Neuroscience

Mosquito-borne viruses linked to stroke

A deadly combination of two mosquito-borne viruses may be a trigger for stroke, new research published in the The Lancet Neurology has found.

Psychology & Psychiatry

Algorithm predicts risk for PTSD after traumatic injury

Researchers have developed an algorithm that can predict whether trauma survivors are likely to develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The tool, which relies on routinely collected medical data, would allow clinicians ...

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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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