High blood pressure, that is, the presence of persistently high blood pressure values within the arteries, is one of the most important causes of disease and premature death, and these consequences can be prevented by treating hypertension. Therefore, knowledge of the correct method of measurement, disease values, and treatment can make a decisive contribution to maintaining health and preventing the development of cardiovascular diseases that result from hypertension.

What it is.

The Guidelines of the European Society of Cardiology updated in 2021 the limit values that define optimal blood pressure, normal blood pressure, and various degrees of hypertension. The unit of measurement for blood pressure is millimeters of mercury, abbreviated as mmHg, and refers to the old sphygmomanometers that contained a glass tube into which a column of mercury rose, the higher the pressure.

The European Society of Cardiology and other Scientific Societies periodically update the criteria for diagnosing hypertension. In this way, the results gathered from major clinical studies on large case series are transferred into clinical practice, associating blood pressure levels with the risk of developing and evolving hypertension itself and the cardiovascular diseases that may be associated with or result from it: from atherosclerosis to heart attack, stroke to heart failure.

How frequent is

It is estimated that there are 150 million hypertensives in Europe, that there are 1 billion hypertensives in the World, that it will become 1.2 billion by 2025, and that, again worldwide, hypertension causes about 10 million deaths a year. In the adult population, the frequency of this disease ranges from 30 to 45 percent, tending to increase with age, to more than 60 percent in people over 60. There are differences in prevalence between the sexes under 50 years of age, when it occurs more often in males, while the frequency is similar in both sexes above this age. Another interesting aspect is that hypertension occurs more often among urban dwellers than rural dwellers, and among those with lower socioeconomic status.

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