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Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

A condition present when blood flows through the blood vessels with a force greater than normal. Also called high blood pressure. Hypertension can strain the heart, damage blood vessels, and increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney problems, and death.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: NIH - National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)

About Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

What is high blood pressure?

High blood pressure, also called "hypertension," is a serious medical condition. It happens when the force of the blood pumping through your arteries is too strong.

When your heart beats, it pushes blood through your arteries to the rest of your body. When the blood pushes harder against the walls of your arteries, your blood pressure goes up. Your blood pressure may be different at different times of the day. It is usually higher when you first wake up, after you exercise, or when you are under stress.

Having higher blood pressure for short amounts of time is normal. However, when your blood pressure stays high for most of the time, it can cause serious health problems... Read more about Hypertension

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Tianma Gouteng Yin Formula for primary hypertension

Tianma Gouteng Yin Formula (TGYF) was reported to have a blood pressure lowering effect, improving clinical symptoms and quality of life in hypertensive patients. This review could not find any randomised controlled clinical trials that compared TGYF to placebo or no treatment. Further research to establish its efficacy is needed.

Milrinone for persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn

Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) is a condition caused by a failure in the systemic and pulmonary circulation to convert from the antenatal circulation pattern to the normal postnatal pattern. Due to persistent high pressure in the pulmonary vessels, less than normal blood flows to the lungs and thus less oxygen reaches the organs of the body. Milrinone may cause the pulmonary vessels to relax and allow for an increased oxygen supply for the body. However, the review found no trials of the use of milrinone for babies with persistent pulmonary hypertension. Research is needed into the effects of milrinone on PPHN.

Hydralazine for pulmonary hypertension in low birth weight infants with chronic lung disease

In premature infants, pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) associated with chronic lung disease (CLD) is associated with high mortality rate. With the exception of oxygen supplementation, no specific interventions have been established as an effective treatment for PAH in premature infants with CLD. Vasodilators could be effective treatments to reduce pulmonary arterial pressure, but little has been proven regarding their clinical effectiveness and concern remains regarding adverse effects. This review found no trials of the use of hydralazine for low birth weight infant with PAH related to CLD. However, since hydralazine is inexpensive and potentially beneficial, randomised controlled trials are recommended.

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Terms to know

Blood Pressure
The force of blood exerted on the inside walls of blood vessels. Blood pressure is expressed as two numbers. For example, a blood pressure result of 120/80 is said as "120 over 80."
Blood Vessels
Tubes that carry blood to and from all parts of the body. The three main types of blood vessels are arteries, capillaries, and veins.
Cerebrovascular Accident (Stroke)
A stroke occurs if the flow of oxygen-rich blood to a portion of the brain is blocked. Without oxygen, brain cells start to die after a few minutes. Sudden bleeding in the brain also can cause a stroke if it damages brain cells.
The hollow, muscular organ that maintains the circulation of the blood.
One of a pair of organs in the abdomen. The kidneys remove waste and extra water from the blood (as urine) and help keep chemicals (such as sodium, potassium, and calcium) balanced in the body. The kidneys also make hormones that help control blood pressure and stimulate bone marrow to make red blood cells.
Myocardial Infarction (Heart Attack)
A heart attack occurs if the flow of oxygen-rich blood to a section of heart muscle suddenly becomes blocked. If blood flow isn't restored quickly, the section of heart muscle begins to die.

More about Hypertension

Photo of an adult

Also called: Hypertensive disorder, Hypertensive vascular degeneration, Hypertensive vascular disease, Systemic arterial hypertension, Hyperpiesis, Hyperpiesia, High blood pressure disorder, Hypertensive disease, HBP, HT, HTN

See Also: Portal Hypertension, Pulmonary Hypertension, Antihypertensives

Other terms to know: See all 6
Blood Pressure, Blood Vessels, Cerebrovascular Accident (Stroke)

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