7 Facts about Hypertension

High blood pressure is one of the most common chronic disease in Singapore. It is the continual force of the blood against the artery walls with high pressure that may cause health problems.

1. What do the numbers signify for Blood Pressure reading?

There are two numbers per each Blood Pressure (BP) reading. Common reading for BP is 130/80 mmHg.

The higher pressure (130) represents the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats, pumping blood into the arteries. This is known as systolic pressure. The lower pressure (80) represents the pressure in the arteries when the heart is relaxed in between each beat. This is known as diastolic pressure.

2. What is a good reading for Blood Pressure (BP)?

In reference to Ministry of Health’s guideline, there are 4 different categories for BP.

Blood Pressure Readings

It is important to note that when systolic and diastolic fall into different categories, the higher category should be used to classify blood pressure category. Reading at 150/82 mmHg will be classified as Stage 1 Hypertension. We should aim for BP lower than 130 /80 mmHg.

3. Is it true that with one measurement, the doctor can diagnose an individual with Hypertension?

False. Factors affecting an increase in blood pressure are plenty. During that single measurement, you may be nervous, angry, stress, or rushing from one place to another.

The health care professional will allow you to calm down, rest for about 5 minutes before taking another measurement. If the BP remains high, you will be advised to monitor and record your BP at home, twice a day.

4. Is it true that hypertension usually do not have any symptoms?

True. Hypertension is also known as the Silent Killer. It does not have any symptoms. But when it gets too severe, some individuals may experience giddiness, headache or chest pains.

5. What cause Hypertension?

Truthfully, due to limit in research and factors that varies, 95% of cases do not have a known cause. In 5% of cases, Hypertension may be caused by kidney disease, narrowing of blood vessels, hormonal imbalance or genetic.

Other lifestyle factors that may cause Hypertension include smoking, overweight, lack of exercise, increase salt and alcohol consumption, stress, old age, thyroid problems or family history of high blood pressure.

6. Will Hypertension go away without treatment?

It is not common for hypertension to disappear by itself. In most cases, blood pressure gets higher over time and the risk of complications increases. Many medical and de-stress approach are very effective and safe to control blood pressure. If the treatment is stopped, high blood pressure may return quickly.

7. How Hypertension cause damage to the body?

With Hypertension over the years without treatment, it may cause serious damage to the blood vessels of the heart, brain that leads to heart attacks and strokes. It gives the heart extra strain, resulting in the thickening of heart muscle and increases the risk of heart failure. Kidney have many small capillaries that may be affected by the high pressure, resulting in kidney damage and failure.

A change in lifestyle habits can significantly decrease the risk of hypertension and many common chronic diseases. Make the correct choice for healthy living!