High blood pressure or hypertension
High blood pressure or hypertension is a major public health challenge. It is common among Malaysians with at least 1 in 3 above age of 18 classified as having hypertension.
It is the main cause of heart attack, stroke, heart failure and the second most important cause of end stage kidney disease in Malaysia. Heart attack and stroke are the top two killers in the country for both men and women.
Facts about High blood Pressure
- Normal blood pressure is 120 over 80 mmHg, but hypertension is higher than 130 over 80 mmHg.
- Acute causes of high blood pressure include stress, but it can happen on its own, or it can result from an underlying condition, such as kidney disease.
- Unmanaged hypertension can lead to a heart attack, stroke, and other problems.
- Lifestyle factors are the best way to address high blood pressure.
A number of risk factors increase the chances of having hypertension:
With age, blood pressure can increase steadily as the arteries become stiffer and narrower due to plaque build-up.
Some ethnic groups are more prone to hypertension.
|Size and weight|
Being overweight or obese is a key risk factor.
Excessive alcohol and tobacco
The lifetime risk is the same for males and females, but men are more prone to hypertension at a younger age. The prevalence tends to be higher in older women.
Existing health conditions
High blood sugar, chronic kidney disease, and high cholesterol levels can lead to hypertension, especially as people get older.
Other contributing factors include:
- Physical inactivity
- Salt-rich diet associated with processed and fatty foods
- Low potassium in the diet
- Certain diseases and medications (like birth control pills)
- A family history of high blood pressure and poorly managed stress can also contribute
A person with hypertension may not notice any symptoms, and it is often called the “silent killer.” While undetected, it can cause damage to the cardiovascular system and internal organs, such as the kidneys.
Regularly checking your blood pressure is vital, as there will usually be no symptoms to make you aware of the condition.
- Severe headache/ dizziness
- Fatigue or confusion
- Vision problems
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Irregular heartbeat
- Blood in the urine
- Pounding in your chest, neck, or ears
Long-term hypertension can cause complications through atherosclerosis, where the formation of plaque results in the narrowing of blood vessels. This makes hypertension worse, as the heart must pump harder to deliver blood to the body.
- Heart failure and heart attacks
- An aneurysm, or an abnormal bulge in the wall of an artery that can burst, causing severe bleeding and, in some cases, death
- Kidney failure
- Hypertensive retinopathies in the eye, which can lead to blindness
Regular blood pressure testing and Screening can help people avoid severe complications.
Diagnosing High Blood Pressure
Systolic, Diastolic Blood Pressure (mmHg)
<120 and < 80
120-129 and < 80
130-139 or 80-89
Stage 1 Hypertension
≥140 or ≥90
Stage 2 Hypertension
|≥180 or ≥120||
Changing your lifestyle can go a long way toward controlling high blood pressure, including:
- Eating a heart-healthy diet with less salt
- Getting regular physical activity
- Maintaining a healthy weight or losing weight if you’re overweight or obese
- Limiting the amount of alcohol you drink
But sometimes lifestyle changes aren’t enough. In addition to diet and exercise, your doctor may recommend medication to lower your blood pressure.
You are advised to work with a team of medical professionals experienced in providing treatment for high blood pressure to develop an individualized treatment plan.
For further enquiries about high blood pressure (hypertension) screening and management, please consult with our team of doctors or call us today.
24 Hours Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring
What is 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring?
Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring (ABPM) is when your blood pressure is measured as you move around, living your normal daily life. It is measured for up to 24 hours. A small digital blood pressure monitor is attached to a belt around your waist and connected to a cuff around your upper arm. It is small enough not to affect your normal daily life and you can even sleep with it on.
Multiple BP readings can be averaged over the 24-hour period to obtain the mean or average BP. Variations in BP and heart rate, the BP distribution pattern, and other statistics can be calculated.
Why is 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring used?
Ambulatory BP monitoring provides additional information about how your changes in BP may correlate with your daily activities and sleep patterns.
– White coat hypertension: Some people who do not take BP lowering drugs (antihypertensive drugs) have elevated BP readings when their BP is taken at a doctor’s office or other health care setting. This is known as “white coat hypertension.” White coat hypertension can result in misdiagnosis of patients whose BP is actually normal. White coat hypertension has been observed in 15%-30% of patients with elevated BP readings. When ambulatory monitoring yields readings within the normal range outside the doctor’s office, patients usually do not need to take antihypertensive drugs.
For further information about hypertension and its management , please consult with our doctor today or call us for further information, alternatively you may also check out our packages here.