Hypertension Causes and Consequences
Hypertension is a common health problem in the United States. According to the American Heart Association, approximately one in three American adults is afflicted with hypertension. Better known as high blood pressure to many, hypertension can be a major health risk if left untreated. The increased pressure in the arteries makes a patient more vulnerable to having a blood vessel rupture, which can be deadly. While some contributing factors to hypertension are unavoidable, others can be minimized and are even treatable. Knowing the causes and consequences of high blood pressure can help to make patients more aware of the risks they face so that they can take steps to guard against it.
Causes of Hypertension
There are many potential causes of hypertension, and often several factors work in conjunction and lead to an onset of high blood pressure over time. The following is a list of risk factors that increase a person’s chance of having elevated blood pressure:
Family history of hypertension (genetic predisposition)
African American descent (genetic predisposition)
Renal or kidney failure
High daily salt intake
Oral contraceptives containing the chemical compound Drospirenone
Some of these factors are impossible to control, but others are avoidable. By watching your weight and the amount of sodium that you consume in your diet, you can reduce your risk of developing hypertension. If you are a woman taking or considering taking birth control, consider talking to your doctor about the hypertension risks associated with Drospirenone-containing pills. If you already fall into one or more risk categories for high blood pressure, it may be in your best interest to consider other contraceptive alternatives.
Consequences of Hypertension
While hypertension can be somewhat mitigated by high blood pressure medication, it can be especially dangerous if left undiagnosed. A patient with untreated high blood pressure is more likely to suffer a heart attack, stroke, or kidney damage. Sadly, many people who suffer severe health problems from hypertension were never aware that they had the condition. It is therefore important that you see your doctor regularly and be checked for high blood pressure. A simple one-minute check for hypertension could save your life.
If you fall into any of the above risk categories that are known to increase your risk for hypertension, talk to your doctor about how you can minimize your chances of developing high blood pressure. Especially if you are an at-risk woman currently taking or considering birth control, it is important to talk to your doctor about the potential adverse side effects of contraceptives containing Drospirenone.
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