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The heart pushes blood with enough force into arteries to ensure that it reaches all tissues and organs in the body. Blood pressure is the force exerted by blood on the walls of arteries during when it circulates in the body. In healthy human beings, the systemic arterial blood flows at a pressure of 120/80 mm Hg (Prudence & Stephen, 2006). If the blood pressure exceeds 120/80 mm Hg then an individual experiences a condition known as hypertension. Hypertension is defined as a cardiac long-lasting medical condition that is characterized increased arterial blood pressure (Rubin, 2009). Therefore hypertension describes high blood pressure in an individual's blood circulatory system. Hypertension is normally classified into primary hypertension and secondary hypertension. Primary hypertension is also referred to as essential hypertension and is defined as high blood pressure whose medical causes have not been found. About 95 percent of hypertension cases consist of primary hypertension. Secondary hypertension is the high blood pressure that is induced by those conditions which affect arteries, endocrine system, heart, or kidneys, and it constitutes of about 5 percent cases (Boutzale, 2003). Increased arterial blood pressure shortens the life expectance of human beings.
Cause of hypertension
The specific cause of hypertension is not known, but there are many risk factors associated with hypertension. It has been found that there are those factors that cannot be altered while trying to control hypertension. They include age, socioeconomic status, race, gender, and heredity. Also there are those factors that can be altered, for instance obesity, alcohol use, sodium sensitivity, use of birth control pills, medications, and physical inactivity (Boutzale, 2003). The Hypertension for Vicki is believed to have been caused by either of these factors excluding physical inactivity, and obesity because she was involved in frequent travel and that she used to eat at the fast food restaurant. The older an individual is, the greater the probability that he or she will suffer from high blood pressure and this is attributed to the hardening of arteries which is referred to as arteriosclerosis. Vick being 42 years old, she can be considered to experience this hardening of arteries and therefore increased blood pressure. Race is also believed to contribute into hypertension, such that an African American individual is at a higher risk to develop hypertension than Caucasians (AHT Force, 2006). There is a possibility that Vick developed hypertension because she is an African American - the race that is at an increased risk. Other factors like obesity lead to constriction of blood vessels especially arteries such that additional force is needed to push blood in the circulatory system. Elevated blood pressure is associated with a number of symptoms.
Symptoms of hypertension
When the blood pressure is not markedly elevated, the affected individuals do not experience any symptom. This condition is therefore labeled as a silent killer disease. The symptoms like headache, nausea and vomiting, shortness of breath and chest pain, blurred vision, and dizziness (AHT Force, 2006). Most of the people with high blood pressure usually do not realize until the blood pressure is measured. It is usual that most people do not go for medical care earlier while the condition has not markedly developed. Chronic hypertension results into organ damage and the victims experience the symptoms of the damaged organs. Types of organ damage that are common in human population include kidney failure, heart failure, heart attack, stroke, eye damage with blurred vision, aneurysms, and peripheral arterial disease that bring about leg pain (AHT Force, 2006).
Treatment of hypertension
Controlling of high blood pressure is a challenge that can last throughout the life of a victim. Hypertension that is caused by obesity or physical inactivity can be controlled by feeding on a diet with less fats and at the same time the overweight individual must be physically active. Some medications are taken to reduce body weight but due to research it has been found that some of these medications may also increase blood pressure even more and therefore care should be taken when using weight loss medications (AHT Force, 2006).