Effects of High Blood Pressure Essay
Hypertension is a chronic medical condition, which affects the functioning of the cardiovascular system because of the elevation of the blood pressure in the arteries. Blood pressure is expressed as the systolic pressure over the diastolic pressure in the arterial system. If the blood pressure is above 140/90 millimeters mercury (mmHg), there is a high risk of future cardiovascular events. The pressure when the heart beats is known as the systolic pressure. The pressure when the heart is resting is known as the diastolic pressure. The measurement of the blood pressure requires two numbers: first, the systolic pressure and, second, the diastolic pressure.Effects of High Blood Pressure Essay
Hypertension is caused by different factors, including genetic and environmental factors, such as various medical conditions (e.g. kidney and heart diseases, renovascular condition, etc.) and medication intake. It is necessary to consider some important risk factors for hypertension, including age, gender, race, family history, obesity, poor physical activity, unhealthy diet, alcohol consumption, smoking, stress and other factors. It has been found that hypertension as a chronic elevation of blood pressure is one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality in today’s society because of its association with serious conditions like coronary heart condition, cerebrovascular condition and renal condition. The outcome of this condition is determined by the extent of target organ involvement, including heart, brain and kidneys. Today, hypertension is considered to be the major contributor to strokes myocardial infarctions.
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The blood flows through arteries, pushing against the artery walls and exerting some pressure on them. If the blood exerts more pressure, the blood pressure will be higher. In addition, the blood pressure is influenced by the size of arteries. If the artery walls are relaxed and enlarged, the blood pressure will be lower. If the artery walls are narrowed, the blood pressure will be higher. As a rule, symptoms of hypertension do not occur until serious damage of vessels has occurred. High blood pressure may overwork the heart if hypertension is left untreated.Effects of High Blood Pressure Essay
In the long-term, hypertension causes end-organ damage and may lead to morbidity and mortality. Blood pressure can be viewed as the product of cardiac output and systemic vascular resistance. This fact means that patients with high blood pressure may have either an increase in cardiac output, or an increase in systemic vascular resistance. In some cases, they may have both of them. In younger age, patients with hypertension can elevate the cardiac output, while old aged patients face increased systemic vascular resistance and increased stiffness of the vasculature.
The autonomic nervous system plays a dominant role in providing control over the blood pressure. In stressful situations, most patients with hypertension have the increased release of a stress hormone, called norepinephrine. As a result, there is an increased responsiveness to stressful stimuli. The release of norepinephrine generates the release of glucose into the blood and increases heart and respiratory rates, which lead to the increased blood pressure.
Hypertension affects the normal anatomy and physiology of the relevant body system, namely cardiovascular system, including heart and the vessels. Because of the high blood pressure, the vessels become less elastic and more hardened. They are likely to form thrombi causing damage to the relevant organs. High blood pressure affects the left ventricle, making it to work more intensively in order to pump blood. These effects lead to hypertrophy of left ventricle. Hypertrophy stands for the enlargement of muscle. As a rule, blood supply to the left ventricle is insufficient because of the enlargement of muscle. Poor blood supply leads to chest pain and ischemia.
The term hypertension can be defined as a chronic medical condition caused by the elevation of the blood pressure in the arteries.Effects of High Blood Pressure Essay
Hypertrophy can be defined as muscle enlargement.
The term systolic pressure can be defined as the pressure when the heart beats.
The term diastolic pressure can be defined as the pressure when the heart is resting.
Cardiac output can be defined as the amount of blood pumped by the heart through the circulatory system per minute.
Cheriyan, J., McEniery, C. & Wilkinson, I. B. (2009). Hypertension. OUP Oxford.
Effects of High Blood Pressure. Retrieved from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Website http://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/effects.htm
Foex, P. & Sear, J. M. (2004). “Hypertension: pathophysiology and treatment,” Continuing Education in Anastasia, Critical Care and Pain 4 (3): 71-75. http://ceaccp.oxfordjournals.org/content/4/3/71.full Effects of High Blood Pressure Essay