Hypertension affects between one and two million people in Australia . Hyper tension is often not diagnosed . The treatment of hyper tension saves lives . High blood pressure is caused by a narrowing of the microscopic arterioles in all tissues . Systolic pressure is the pressure in the larger vessels when the heart contracts .Diastolic pressure is the pressure when the heart relaxes between beats . It is important that you are totally relaxed when your blood pressure is being measured . Systolic blood pressure is now known to be as important as or even more important than , diastolic pressure . Automatic measuring systems can be employed to measure blood pressure away from the clinic or health center . High blood pressure is one of the main risk factors for heart attacks and stroke . The other risk factors are smoking and raised blood cholesterol levels . Lowering blood pressure (and lowering blood cholesterol ) saves lives . Hyper tension runs in families . Hyper tension is related to a high salt intake , being over weight and drinking too much alcohol . Rarely high blood pressure is the result of under lying kidney disease or excess of certain hormones . All people diagnosed as hypertensive should have a spot urine check a blood test and an ECG , only a minority of patients need referral to a specialist for further investigation . Reducing the amount of salt that you eat will lower your blood pressure . Correction of obesity also lowers blood pressure . Alcohol consumption should be moderate . Exercise can help to lower your blood pressure . There is a wide choice of anti hypertensive drugs , all anti hypertensive drugs are roughly equally effective . About half of all people who are hypertensive need two or more drugs to control their blood pressure . The more modern drugs have fewer side effects . pregnant women need careful BP assessment and drug treatment is occasionally necessary . Concomitant heart disease , chest disease and diabetes influence choice of BP lowering drugs . BP in people aged over 65 years is managed in exactly the same way as in younger people and this definitely prevents heart attacks and strokes .
What is “Hypertension” ? : If your BP reading is consistently over 160 / 90 mm hg you will be told that you have hypertension , but generally speaking , the lower your BP ,the better ,if your pressure is between 140/90 mmhg and 160/90 mmhg . Then you may be diagnosed as having “border line “ hypertension .