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A Look at Various Types of Hypertension

Types of Hypertension

Hypertension or high blood pressure is a prevalent condition in most adults, especially in urban areas. It increases the risk of stroke and other heart diseases as well. Family history, obesity, smoking, and alcohol intake are the major risk factors of hypertension. Therefore, your ideal systolic blood pressure reading should not exceed 120 mmHg and your diastolic blood pressure reading should not go beyond 80 mmHg.Although hypertension was earlier considered a heart disease that affected older adults, today the minimum age has dropped alarmingly. Therefore, it becomes all the more essential to understand the types of hypertension and the different stages, to help with the treatment.

Blood pressure measurements are categorised in four different stages,
Stages of hypertension

  • Normal Stage: Systolic < 120 mmHg | Diastolic < 80 mmHg
  • Elevated Stage: Systolic between 120-129 mmHg | Diastolic < 80 mmHg
  • Stage 1: Systolic between 130-139 mmHg | Diastolic between 80-89 mmHg
  • Stage 2: Systolic >= 140 mmHg | Diastolic >= 90 mmHg

If you find your readings to be in the elevated stages of hypertension, you need to see a cardiologist right away. Early detection helps in the treatment of high blood pressure and helps bring the level to the normal stage.

Similarly, there are two main hypertension types which are classified as primary hypertension and secondary hypertension.

Let’s take a look at the differentiation factors and their classification.

Primary Hypertension Secondary Hypertension
Primary hypertension or essential hypertension is when there is no identifiable cause for hypertension. Secondary hypertension occurs when there is a known and potentially reversible cause of hypertension.
Combination of genetics, diet, lifestyle, and age are primary causes of essential hypertension. 5-10% of those affected with hypertension fall in this category and it usually affects the younger population between the ages of 18 and 40 years.
Lifestyle factors that lead to primary hypertension are smoking, excessive alcohol intake, stress, obesity, and excessive salt intake. The underlying causes of secondary hypertension include narrowing of arteries, adrenal gland disease, obstructive sleep apnea, thyroid, and hormonal abnormalities among others.
Lifestyle changes and adopting a healthy diet are two ways you to reduce hypertension. Prescription medicines after evaluation of the affected individual helps in the treatment of secondary hypertension.

Apart from these two types of high blood pressure, there are some sub-types of hypertension which may fall under any of these two main types. These sub-types are:

Sub Types of Hypertension

  • Resistant Hypertension –

    Resistant HypertensionResistant hypertension as the name suggests is when high blood pressure is difficult to control and requires multiple treatments and medications. However, most people affected with resistant hypertension can be successfully treated with a combination of medicines or by identifying the secondary cause of this type of hypertension.

  • Malignant Hypertension –

    Malignant HypertensionMalignant hypertension is when high blood pressure or hypertension causes severe damage to other organs of the body. It is an emergency condition with elevated blood pressure levels standing at >180 mmHg systolic and >120-130 mmHg diastolic thus causing damage to multiple organs. It requires immediate medical attention so you should consult an expert cardiologist in such a case.

  • Isolated Systolic Hypertension –

    Isolated Systolic HypertensionIsolated systolic hypertension is when the systolic blood pressure goes above 140 mmHg and the diastolic blood pressure remains under 90 mmHg. It is more frequent in older adults affecting about 15 percent of adults above 60 years of age. The primary cause of isolated systolic hypertension is said to be the stiffening of arteries which happens with age.

These three sub-types of hypertension occur rarely however, such a condition should not be neglected if known as it can lead to any of these three types of hypertension. As you already know, the causes and symptoms of hypertension are usually unknown and it can be detected only when you regularly monitor your blood pressure.

Being a silent killer, one will never know if and when they are affected with high blood pressure. Therefore, as suggested by many cardiologists around the globe, the screening for hypertension should be done as early as 18 years. This will help monitor blood pressure effectively and nipping it in the bud as and when detected.

Remember, the treatments for different types of hypertension differ. So, always keep your doctor up-to-date with your condition and consult them immediately if you notice unusual hypertension effects.

Note of caution: This article is for information purpose only. Always consult your doctor in case of any blood pressure or other health-related problems.

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