Why High Blood Pressure Needs to Be Controlled

You may have seen one of our blogs in January talking about our recent designation at Hunterdon Cardiovascular Associates as one of only 17 facilities in the U.S. to attain 2019 Million Hearts® Hypertension Control Challenge designation. While everyone hears about hypertension/high blood pressure, most people don’t really know why it’s so important to monitor and manage hypertension, so here’s some more information on this common problem in the U.S.

What is high blood pressure?

Our blood pressure is the force that the blood exerts against the walls of our blood vessels. High blood pressure, hypertension, is a condition where the long-term force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough that it may eventually lead to health problems, such as heart disease.

Blood pressure is determined both by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure.

How prevalent is high blood pressure?

Almost half of all adults in the U.S. have high blood pressure. You may have hypertension for years without any symptoms, but even without symptoms damage may be occurring in your blood vessels and your heart.

Hypertension is a primary risk factor for cardiovascular disease, including stroke, heart attack, heart failure, and aneurysm. That’s why keeping blood pressure under control is so important for maintaining your health and reducing risk. To attain the designation of the Million Hearts® Hypertension Control Challenge, we had to achieve hypertension control rates of at least 80 percent in our patients.

Types of hypertension

There are two types of high blood pressure.

  • Primary (essential) hypertension — Causes of this form of hypertension are not always identifiable. This type of high blood pressure tends to develop gradually over many years.
  • Second hypertension — Some people have high blood pressure as a result of other underlying conditions. This form of high blood pressure tends to appear suddenly and causes higher blood pressure than does primary hypertension. These conditions can lead to secondary hypertension:
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Kidney problems
  • Adrenal gland tumors
  • Thyroid problems
  • Congenital defects in your blood vessels
  • Certain medications, such as birth control pills, decongestants, over-the-counter pain relievers, and some prescription drugs
  • Illegal drugs, such as cocaine and amphetamines

If you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure, give us a call at Hunterdon Cardiovascular Associates, (908) 788-1710. We’ve been very successful at helping our patients manage and control their hypertension.

Posted in: Hunterdon Heart & Vascular Center

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