Hypertension is a condition in which a person experiences elevated blood pressure, exceeding 140 over 90 mmHg — a systolic pressure above 140 with a diastolic pressure above 90. This occurs repeatedly and begins to affect a person’s quality of life and in some cases causes stroke and heart attack.
Research 1 suggests that 57% of stroke cases and 24% of coronary heart disease deaths in India are attributed to hypertension. In the Indian demographic, hypertension has a prevalence of 25-30% in the urban population and 10-20% in rural areas.
Essentially, this means that approximately 100 million people in the country suffer from this debilitating condition.
Unfortunately, the exact causes of hypertension are still unknown, but there are certain non-specific lifestyle factors that can increase risks. In these cases, it is referred to as primary hypertension. Additionally, secondary hypertension is caused by identifiable factors or an underlying condition such as chronic kidney disease, or an endocrine disorder.
A combination of a few factors can cause primary hypertension, including:
Secondary hypertension manifests suddenly and causes higher blood pressure than primary hypertension. The most common cause of secondary hypertension is kidney disease. It can also be triggered by tumours and other deformities in the adrenal glands, affecting hormone secretion, leading to changes in blood pressure.
Furthermore, it has been found that birth control pills, especially the ones containing estrogen can affect blood pressure, as well as medications that constrict the blood vessels.
Secondary hypertension is caused by a number of underlying conditions or medications, including:
If you have been suffering from symptoms of hypertension, then speak to your doctor about how to manage this more effectively.