Hypertension (High blood pressure)


What is Hypertension?

Hypertension is defined as systolic blood pressure (upper reading) higher than 140 mmHg and diastolic (lower reading) higher than 90mmHg.

Categories of hypertension

Blood pressure category Systolic
(upper reading)
Diastolic
(lower reading)
Action
Normal Lower than 120 Lower than 80 Keep it up
Prehypertension 120 – 139 80 – 89 Make healthy lifestyle changes
Hypertension (High blood pressure) Above 140 above 90 Consult your doctor and start medication

Symptoms

Hypertension does not normally cause symptoms unless it is very high.

If blood pressure is very high, patients may experience:

  • Headaches
  • Visual disturbance
  • Seizures

Risk Factors

Modifiable

  • Lack of physical activity
  • Unhealthy diet (e.g. high salt intake)
  • Being obese
  • Excessive alcohol intake
  • Smoking

Non-modifiable

  • Age
  • Family medical history
  • Gender

How is hypertension diagnosed?

Regular blood pressure monitoring: 2 – 3 high readings at several medical appointments to diagnose high blood pressure.  

Complications of High blood pressure

Preventive measures

Preventive measures are focused on reducing modifiable risk factors.

  • Do regular exercise: At least 30 minutes every day, 5 times a week. 
  • Eat a healthy diet: reduce high intake of salt and fat
  • Maintain a healthy body weight
  • Reduce alcohol intake
  • Stop smoking