Blood Pressure Alarms

Stages Of Hypertension

Hypertension is a commonly prevalent disease that affects a vast majority of the human population worldwide. It is the major cause of heart attacks and if left untreated may  also lead to organ damage, retinopathy and kidney disease.

Hypertension is diagnosed as consistently elevated blood pressure readings. A blood pressure reading has two components: systolic and diastolic pressure, both measured in terms of mmHg. A reading of 120-130/80-90 mmHg depicts a normal reading for a healthy adult.

There are four different stages of hypertension. Stage 1 is mild hypertension with readings of 140-150 systolic and 90-99 diastolic. Stage 2 is moderate hypertension of 160-179 systolic and 100-109 diastolic. Stage 3 refers to blood pressure readings of 180-209 systolic and 110-119 diastolic. Stage 4 points to blood pressure reading of more than 210/120.

The third and the fourth stages denote serious and severe hypertension. Untreated and uncontrolled mild and moderate hypertension can often deteriorate into serious hypertension and may even prove fatal.

Another way to categorize the various stages of hypertension is in terms of benign and malignant hypertension. As per this categorization, the first two stages may be referred to as benign hypertension because there are no major associated risks. Stages 3 and 4 may be described as malignant hypertension, known so, as it can often lead to serious repercussions.

Primary or essential and secondary or non-essential hypertension is another classification used to describe the types of hypertension. There is no known cause for primary hypertension. However, some of the factors that may cause this condition include stress, lifestyle factors, excessive tobacco and alcohol consumption and genetic makeup.

Secondary hypertension, on the other hand, is caused by some existing medical condition, such as renal disease, excess aldosterone production, pregnancy, thyroid imbalance and use of oral contraceptive devices.

At times, some patients may report only elevated systolic reading. Such a condition is described as isolated systolic hypertension and may be a form of either primary or secondary hypertension.

In order to control hypertension, it is imperative that this condition should be diagnosed early and be treated timely. If left untreated, it can even lead to mortality. Some therapies include lifestyle modifications and use of medication.