Imporant High Blood Pressure Causes

The pressure of the blood, if it is more than 120/80, is known as high blood pressure.120 mmhg that is at the top is systolic pressure.80 mmhg at the bottom is diastolic pressure. The high blood pressure is generally known as silent killer, as it can be there without any symptoms. Two forms of high blood pressure are there. They are primary hypertension and secondary hypertension.

Primary hypertension is more common condition and accounts for nearly 90 to 95% of hypertension. The causes of essential hypertension are many. There are several factors whose combined effects produce hypertension. In secondary hypertension, which accounts for almost 5 to 10 % of hypertension, the high blood pressure is caused by a specific abnormality in one of the organs or systems of the body.

Essential hypertension affects approximately 70 to 75 million Americans. But the basic causes are not always known. But certain associations have been recognized in people with essential hypertension. Essential hypertension develops only in groups or societies that have a high intake of salt, [exceeding 5.8 grams per day]. Salt intake is an important factor in relation to essential hypertension in several situations. Excess salt may be involved in the hypertension that is associated with advancing age, obesity, hereditary susceptibility, and kidney failure.

Genetic factors are considered to play a prominent role in the development of essential hypertension. However, the genes for hypertension are yet to be identified. Genes are tiny portions of chromosomes that produce the proteins that determine the characteristics of individuals. At present research in this area is focused on the genetic factors that affect the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. This system helps to regulate blood pressure by controlling salt balance and the tone of the arteries.

In general almost 30 % of cases of essential hypertension are attributable to genetic factors. In the United States, the incidence of high blood pressure is more among African Americans than among Caucasians or Asians. Furthermore in individuals who have one or two parents with hypertension, high blood pressure is two times as common as the general population.

Seldom may certain unusual genetic disorders affecting the hormones of the adrenal glands lead to hypertension. These identified genetic disorders are actually considered secondary hypertension. The majority of patients with essential hypertension have a particular abnormality of the arteries. They have an increased resistance or lack of elasticity in the tiny arteries that are most distant from the heart [peripheral arteries, arterioles]. The arterioles supply oxygen-containing blood and nutrients to all of the tissues of the body.

The arterioles are connected by capillaries in the tissues to the venous system, which returns the blood to the heart and lungs. But the reason for the stiffness of arterioles is not very clear. Yet, this increased peripheral arteriolar stiffness is present in those individuals whose essential hypertension is associated with genetic factors, obesity, lack of exercise, excess usage of salt, and aging. Inflammation also may play a role in hypertension since a predictor of the development of hypertension is the presence of an elevated C reactive protein level in some individuals.

As mentioned previously, 5% of people with hypertension have what is called secondary hypertension. Here the hypertension in these individuals is secondary to a specific disorder of a particular organ or blood vessel, such as the kidney, adrenal gland, or aortic artery. Renal hypertension Diseases of the kidneys can cause secondary hypertension. This type of secondary hypertension is called renal hypertension because it is caused by a problem in the kidneys. One important cause of renal hypertension is narrowing of the artery that supplies blood to the kidneys .

In younger individuals, usually women, the narrowing is caused by a thickening of the muscular wall of the arteries going to the kidney. In older individuals, the narrowing generally is due to hard, fat-containing plaques that are blocking the renal artery. The narrowed renal artery impairs the circulation of blood to the affected kidney. This deprivation of blood then stimulates the kidney to produce the hormones, rennin and angiotensin. These hormones, along with aldosterone from the adrenal gland, cause a constriction and increased stiffness in the peripheral arteries throughout the body, which finally, as mentioned previously, results in high blood pressure. The other causes for secondary hypertension are adrenal gland tumors, coarctation of aorta, and obesity.





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