Hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure, is a medical condition where the blood pressure in the arteries is persistently elevated. Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and is given by two numbers: systolic pressure (the higher number) and diastolic pressure (the lower number). Systolic pressure measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats, while diastolic pressure measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart rests between beats.

Classification of Hypertension:

Hypertension is classified into different categories based on the blood pressure reading:

  1. Normal: Blood pressure readings that are consistently below 120/80 mmHg.
  2. Elevated: Systolic pressure between 120-129 mmHg and diastolic pressure less than 80 mmHg.
  3. Hypertension Stage 1: Systolic pressure between 130-139 mmHg or diastolic pressure between 80-89 mmHg.
  4. Hypertension Stage 2: Systolic pressure at least 140 mmHg or diastolic pressure at least 90 mmHg.
  5. Hypertensive Crisis: Systolic pressure over 180 mmHg and/or diastolic pressure over 120 mmHg. This stage requires immediate medical attention as it can lead to organ damage.

Secondary Classification:

Hypertension can also be classified as either primary (essential) hypertension or secondary hypertension:

  • Primary Hypertension: This type accounts for 90-95% of all cases and does not have an identifiable cause. It develops gradually over many years and is usually attributed to a combination of factors such as genetics, diet, lifestyle, and age.
  • Secondary Hypertension: This type is caused by an underlying condition and makes up 5-10% of the cases in adults. It can appear suddenly and cause higher blood pressure than primary hypertension. Conditions that can lead to secondary hypertension include kidney disease, obstructive sleep apnea, congenital heart defects, thyroid problems, adrenal gland tumors, certain medications, and the use of illegal drugs.

Understanding the classification and underlying causes of hypertension is crucial for effective management and treatment. Regular monitoring of blood pressure and timely intervention can help manage the condition effectively and reduce the risk of developing serious health complications.

Categorized in:

Cardiovascular, Hypertension,

Last Update: May 28, 2024