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Blood pressure Blood pressure is the force with which your heart pumps blood through the body Occasional increases in blood pressure levels are not unusual Hypertension Hypertension is high blood pressure When heart beats contracts and relaxes it pumps out a certain volume of blood The maximum arterial pressure measured in mm Hg determines the systolic reading and the lowest reading of this pressure is called the diastolic pressure It is widely accepted that a person having a reading of a systolic pressure of greater thanequal to 140 mm Hg and a diastolic pressure of greater thanequal to 90 mm Hg is considered to have high blood pressure When such a reading is sustained over a period of time it is diagnosed as hypertension Causes There are two types of hypertension One is primary hypertension and the other is secondary hypertension The cause of primary hypertension is unknown It just happens but however there are certain risk factors or associations such as hereditary factors race age environmental and life-style factors where you live salt and other chemicals weight stress alcohol lack of exercise The difference between primary and secondary hypertension is that we know the causes of secondary hypertension Usually the causes of secondary hypertension include renal artery stenosis or other cause of increased plasma renin renal parenchymal disease glomerulonephritis diabetic nephropathy polycystic disease obstructive uropathy drugs oral contraceptives steroids and increased levels of catecholamines pheochromocytoma glucocorticoids Cushings disease or mineralcorticoids Symptoms Hypertension is referred to as the silent killer since those afflicted seem to experience few if any symptoms However hypertension may be associated with fatigue headaches lightheadedness chest pains visual and speech disturbances shortness of breath and nose bleeds Treatments We do not know what causes essential hypertension but we have proof that there are many factors associated with its development such as age race and family history Many of these cannot be controlled
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