What is Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)?

High blood pressure is an average blood pressure reading always above 140/90mmHg. Hence constantly above this level.

What do the values mean?

Blood pressure readings is determined by the of the amount of blood your heart pumps and the resistance to blood flow in the arteries. Pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg). The recordings always reflect two readings i.e. 160/100mmHg (pronounced as 160 over 100)

  • Top/first number is called the systolic pressure – this is the pressure in the arteries when the heart contracts 
  • Bottom/second number is the diastolic pressure – pressure in the arteries when the heart is at rest between each heartbeat.

How is Hypertension diagnosed?

For a diagnosis of Hypertension to be made you need several high blood pressure readings. A one-off high reading does not mean you have Hypertension. Your blood pressure varies throughout the day and various factors could elevate your blood pressure reading i.e. anxious, stressed, pain, recent exercising etc.

What are the causes?

In some cases the cause is not known – Essential Hypertension. But various lifestyle factors contribute. Some case it is caused by other conditions – Secondary Hypertension (certain kidney or hormone problems etc.)

Who should have a blood pressure check?

Everyone should have regular blood pressure checks as it usually causes no symptoms. The frequency of checks should be more often in those with higher contributing risk factors (elderly, previous high readings, comorbidities such as diabetes, smokers and those with a strong family history of cardiovascular disease.

What are the risks/complications and how can it be treated?

See your general practitioner for further information.