Hypertension Essay

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Hypertension, Blood Circulation, and Concerning Factors Affecting the Case Study Patient Problem Definition Blood pressure is the amount of pressure exerted by the circulating blood on the blood vessels as it moves from the heart to the body; it is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) (Hypertension Canada, n.d.). Blood pressure has two components known as systolic and diastolic; systolic blood pressure refers to the active contraction of the heart, while diastolic blood pressure is the resting period of the heart (American Heart Association, 2013). Normal blood pressure range varies depending on the age of the individual. According to the American Health Association, a typical adult’s blood pressure is between 100 and 140mmHg systolic and 60 to 90mmHg diastolic. Adult blood pressure becomes a problem when the blood pressure is either significantly greater or lower than the range defined above. Blood pressure that is lower than average is called hypotension, where as higher than average blood pressure is called hypertension. Background on Hypertension Hypertension has a variety of contributing factors and symptoms as well as a variety of diagnostic technique and treatment options. First, there are many factors that contribute to the diagnosis of hypertension such as smoking, obesity, lack of physical activity, stress, age, genetics, and chronic heart disease (Nordqvist, 2009). Many of these factors are preventable, however, there are some that are not preventable as well. For example, smokers have the ability to quit smoking and therefore lower their chance of developing high blood pressure. On the other hand, factors such as genetics and age are non-preventable and may cause hypertension in even the most active, non-smo... ... middle of paper ... ...rld Heart Federation, n.d.). This man admits to being anxious but denies any other health concerns. Acute incidents of stress as well as prolonged stress can cause hypertension. Acutely, stress has been shown to increase blood pressure by increasing cardiac output and the heart rate without affecting total peripheral resistance. Acute stress has been found to increase levels of catecholamines, cortisol, vasopressin, endorphins and aldosterone, which may in part explain the increase in blood pressure (Zimmerman & Frolich, 1990, p. S103.) Several studies suggest people are at risk for stress-induced hypertension due to prolonged stress (Zimmerman & Frolich, 1990.) According to Zimmerman and Frolich (1990), it is likely that prolonged stress-induced hypertension is the result of neurohormonal trophic factors, which cause vascular hypertrophy or atherosclerosis.
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