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Blood pressure.

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The term blood pressure is used to describe pressure in the aorta. Blood pressure is at its highest when the ventricles contract (systolic pressure). The lowest (diastolic pressure) is when the ventricles relax. Blood pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury. For the average human the normal blood pressure are 120mm Hg for systolic pressure and 80mm Hg for diastolic. A rise in blood pressure means the heart is overworking and this can put strain on the circulatory system. On the other hand a fall can effect the organs (e.g. kidneys). So it is very important blood pressure is kept within the normal limits. High blood pressure is also called hypertension. It is a condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is abnormally high. The pumping of the heart creates blood to move along and against the walls of the blood vessels, which are flexible enough to dilate or contract and therefore keep the pressure constant. Sometimes the blood vessels may lose their flexibility, or the muscles surrounding them may force them to contract. This results in, the heart pumping more forcefully to move the same amount of blood through the narrowed vessels into the capillaries, therefore increasing the blood pressure. ...read more.


When salt and water levels increase around cells, the excess is drawn into your blood, which is filtered by the kidneys. When the kidneys don't function correctly, fluid builds up around cells and in the blood. If there is more fluid in the blood, the heart has to work harder and blood pressure can go up because there is more pressure on the walls of the blood vessels. The heart can get weaker or worn out from the extra work. Obesity is strongly associated with having high blood pressure so it is very important to maintain a healthy weight. A weight increase of 10kg is associated with an increase in systolic blood pressure of 2-3mmHg. People who are overweight are 2 to 6 times more likely to develop hypertension. Also being obese may lower certain actions of insulin that open blood vessels and it may cause structural changes in the kidney and abnormal handling of sodium. It is also associated with alterations in the systems that regulate blood flow. Genetic factors are thought to play a prominent role in the development of high blood pressure. ...read more.


In older individuals, the narrowing generally is due to hard, fat-containing plaques that are blocking the renal artery. Even though stress is clearly related to elevated blood pressure, finding the exact cause of the stress is very difficult. This is because what is stressful for one person may be relaxing for another. Also anything that is going on in a persons life can contribute to stress e.g. work, money, family. With milder forms of high blood pressure it is usually treated with a self-help regimen that includes a no-salt diet and a weight-reducing diet, stop smoking, taking up exercise, and the avoidance of stressful situations. If these do not work doctors will usually prescribe or sympathetic-nerve blockers. These generally act by decreasing heart output and minor resistance to blood flow. Beta-blockers are the most commonly used of these drugs. More severe high blood pressure often requires the use of drugs called vasodilators, which dilate the arteries, therefore lowering the blood pressure. Once medical therapy for high blood pressure begins, it must continue for the rest of the patient's life. Severe and immediately life-threatening high blood pressure usually requires hospitalisation and acute medical care. David Marsh - 1 - Describe the lifestyle factors that contribute To high blood pressure and how high blood Pressure can be treated ...read more.

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