Arterial hypertension: a threat to all

Dr. Mazzanti Mignaqui is a renowned cardiologist specializing in ischemic heart disease, hypertensive heart disease, valvulopathies and myocardiopathies. He is currently the Director at Serveis Mèdics Cardiology and the Head of the Cardiology Unit at the Institut Clínic de Tarragona. He is the author and co-author of numerous scientific publications in national and international Cardiology journals. Through the following article he analyzes arterial hypertension and qualifies it as: “the main cause of death of men and women worldwide”.

What is arterial hypertension?

Arterial hypertension (AHT) is defined as when blood pressure is higher than 140/90 mm Hg after repeated and correct controls.

Hypertension is the main cause of mortality and morbidity in the adult population in developed countries and is the most important risk factor for coronary, cerebral and renal vascular diseases.

Although the control of millions of hypertensive patients has increased enormously, and there are more people seeking medical care, greater understanding of the different forms of the disease, and more potent and easier to administer drugs, many people still face the risks of unrecognized and untreated HTN.

Does high blood pressure pose a great danger?

Considering the large number of individuals affected and the possible consequences of lack of control, HT represents a major risk factor for premature death and disability. In this sense, we must bear in mind the following considerations, in order to guide the population in understanding the problem and encourage the incorporation of beneficial habits and behaviors in particular against the advance of this “silent killer”.

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The vast majority of hypertensive patients are exposed to the dangers of the disease, as it often goes undiagnosed and therefore untreated. Most forms of hypertension remain essential, i.e. their causes are unknown, making it impossible to avoid. It is difficult for patients to continue taking regular medication indefinitely. It is necessary to think about the importance of home controls and treatment without medication (which depends on the patient). As possible detection symptoms of hypertension, we must distinguish the so-called silent hypertension from essential hypertension.

Symptoms of hypertension

Symptoms attributed to hypertension, such as headaches, nosebleeds, dizziness and fainting, are observed with the same frequency in the population with normal blood pressure. HT almost always presents as a disease that does not produce symptoms, which is why it is considered “silent”. This is why it is a serious mistake, with unpredictable consequences, to wait for the appearance of referenced symptoms that are popularly attributed to this disease, in order to initiate or continue its control and treatment.

The so-called essential hypertension (which comprises 90% of cases) can be controlled but not cured. This means that its control and treatment will be continuous and lifelong and that its abandonment will determine the recurrence of risks.