You are on page 1of 2

Clinton Wilkinson BIOL 1090 014 25 July 2012 Signature Report Hypertension If you havent been affected by it yet

t there is an extremely good chance that you will be at some point in your life. The it that I am referring to, commonly referred to as the silent killer is called hypertension. It is a disease that affects 1 in 3 adults in the United States (National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion). For something so common, it is frequently not understood or respected, and for many people it can even be preventable. What hypertension is, is a common condition in which the force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough that it may eventually cause health problems (Mayo Clinic). Education is our best defense against a disease like hypertension. The first thing that needs to be understood is what causes it. Hypertension has two types of causes, lifestyle choices and risks called primary hypertension, and diseases, called secondary hypertension. Some parts of life and lifestyle are controllable and others are not. Regardless of whether they are controllable or not, some of these causes/risks are being obese, being African American, being stressed or anxious, drinking too much, high salt intake, family history, and smoking. Sometimes high blood pressure occurs with seemingly no cause (David C. Dugdale III). Minimizing a persons risk is the best way to protect them from an unnecessary infirmity. Hypertension can also result as a side effect of other conditions, and in this case is referred to as secondary hypertension. Diseases and conditions that have been known to cause hypertension, are chronic kidney disease, adrenal gland diseases(Cushing syndrome), pregnancy, hyperparathyroidism, narrowed artery to the kidney, and various medications (David C. Dugdale III). In these cases, it is important to carefully monitor blood pressure to prevent unnecessary complications of the original condition. Now that the causes have been explored, it is important to know what effect hypertension has on the body. As stated, hypertension increases the pressure of blood on the walls of veins and arteries. The factors that contribute to blood pressure are the sizes of veins and arteries, the amount of salt and water in the body (thickness of blood), various hormones, and the amount of blood that the heart can pump per beat (David C. Dugdale III). The effects of hypertension on the body are wide-ranging. Sometimes there will be nothing, and other times, it has the potential to cause major damage. When blood pressure is high, the body is at risk for heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, and vision problems just to name a few (David C. Dugdale III). In those cases the heart, brain, kidneys, and eyes, as well as other organs, are at risk of damage or failure. In the most severe cases, even death can result.

Luckily, hypertension is very treatable with lifestyle changes, and medication. The goals of these medications is to lower the blood pressure to acceptable levels which will minimize the chance of more serious complications up to and including death. No one needs to live with hypertension when the treatments are as simple as taking medication, and making changes to diet and exercise habits. Finally, people need to be more aware and responsible for their health.

Works Cited
David C. Dugdale III, David Zieve. Medline Plus: Hypertension. 10 June 2011. Internet. 25 July 2012. <>. Mayo Clinic. Hypertension Definition. 24 January 2012. Internet. 25 July 2012. <>. National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. High Blood Pressure Facts. 13 March 2012. Internet. 25 July 2012.