Symptoms of High Blood Pressure

Blood Pressure
The Dangers of High Blood Pressure
• Medical term = hypertension.
• High BP= condition in which the pressure (tension)
blood exerts on the walls of blood vessels goes up
and stays high
•Damages the blood vessels, the
heart, and other organs.
•High risk factor for coronary heart
•Highest risk factor for stroke )3rd
leading cause of death in the U.S.)
•Common cause of heart failure
(leading cause of death in the U.S.)
•Common cause of kidney disease.
Symptoms of High Blood Pressure
• Usually no symptoms, many people don’t realize they have
• High BP can only be detected with accurate, repeated
measurements of a person’s BP
• Can be treated safely and effectively, but only about onequarter of people with high BP take necessary steps to keep
BP within a normal range.
Potential Causes of High BP
Being overweight or obese
Lack of physical activity
Too much salt in the diet
High alcohol consumption (>1-2 drinks/day)
Older age
Family history of high blood pressure
Chronic kidney disease
Adrenal and thyroid disorders
You are at higher risk for high BP if you…
Have family members with high BP
are African-Americans.
take birth control pills.
over the age of 35.
are overweight or obese.
are not active.
drink alcohol excessively.
eat too many fatty and/or salty foods
• Estimated to affect >
50 million Americans
or about 1 in 4 adults
• When BP is
consistently high, the
continuous increased
force on blood vessel
walls causes damage
blood vessels and
organs, including the
heart, kidneys, eyes,
and brain.
Cardiac Circulation
• Coronary arteries deliver the blood that oxygenates and
nourishes the myocardium
• Cardiac veins drain blood from myocardium into coronary
sinus which empties into the right atrium.
Disruptions of Cardiac Circulation
• Angina pectoris: crushing chest pain due to myocardial
oxygen deprivation
– blood supply to myocardium becomes inadequate if heart rate
is too rapid
– If HR is rapid, the relaxation periods when blood flows into
myocardial tissue are shortened
• Atherosclerosis: plaque made of cholesterol and other
cells build up in the walls of the coronary arteries
• Myocardial infarcation: “heart attack”/ “coronary”
– Blood vessels to the heart are blocked, preventing oxygen from
getting cells causing damage or death of the heart muscle
– Can result from restricted blood flow due to atherosclerosis (likely during
exercise or physical strain)
– Usually caused by a clot that blocks a coronary artery – often if
the plaque build up tears, blood stick to it and from a thrombus
Symptoms of Myocardial Infarction
• Major symptom = chest pain
– Tight band around chest, bad indigestion, something heavy sitting on
chest, squeezing or heavy pressure
• Other symptoms include:
– Anxiety, cough, fainting, light headedness, dizziness, nausea,
vomiting, palpitations and sweating.
• “Silent” heart attacks have no symptoms
Risk Factors for Heart Attack
Increasing age (over age 65)
Male gender
Family history of coronary artery disease (genetic
or hereditary factors)
High blood pressure
High fat diet
Unhealthy cholesterol levels
Chronic kidney disease
Heart Attack Treatments/Prevention
• Angioplasty and Stent placement:
– Open blocked vessel using balloon catheter/guidewire
– Stent is a small, metal mesh tube that expands in artery
to prevent it from re-closing
• Thrombolytic therapy
– “clot busting” – drugs to break up clot w/i first few
hours of chest pain
• By-pass/ “Open Heart Surgery”
– Take vein or artery from elsewhere in the body and use
it to bypass blocked artery
• Additional medicines:
– Nitroglycerin: helps reduce pain
– Anti-platelet medicine: help prevent clot from forming
(ex. Aspirin)