Heart & Circulatory Health Data Verified

Hypertension - A Condition Not to Be Ignored

Published on Oct 08, 2019 and last reviewed on Jan 11, 2023   -  3 min read


High blood pressure or hypertension is commonly overlooked or ignored, as it does not cause any symptoms in the early stages. Read the article to find out more about the symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment.

Hypertension - A Condition Not to Be Ignored


Hypertension, as we know, is commonly defined as systolic blood pressure of more than or equal to 140 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure of more than or equal to 90 mmHg. Hypertension in India is increasing at an alarming rate due to the rapidly changing lifestyle and dietary habits. This condition is commonly ignored, resulting in an increase in medical emergencies and the number of deaths.

Hypertension is not a disease per se but a risk factor for many serious illnesses. According to ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) 2018 data, hypertension is attributable to 10.8 % of all deaths in India. It is directly linked to cardiovascular accidents (stroke) and myocardial infarction (heart attack), which are becoming the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in our country.

Understanding Blood Pressure Readings:

The normal blood pressure should be around 120/80 mmHg.

  • Systolic Pressure - It is the upper value that indicates the pressure in the arteries as the heart pumps out blood.

  • Diastolic Pressure - It is the lower value that indicates the pressure in the arteries between two heartbeats.

What Are the Symptoms of Hypertension?

High blood pressure does not usually cause any symptoms until it causes other complications. Thus it is also called a "silent killer." It can take more than ten years for these symptoms to appear, and if left untreated, it can be fatal. The symptoms are:

What Causes Hypertension?

Based on the cause, hypertension can be divided into:

  • Primary Hypertension: Otherwise called essential hypertension, and the cause is unknown. Almost 95 % of all hypertension cases are of this type.

  • Secondary Hypertension: When conditions affecting the kidneys, adrenal glands, and thyroid glands, or cancer, hormonal imbalance, high intake of salt, alcoholism, and a sedentary lifestyle results in high blood pressure, it is called secondary hypertension.

How to Diagnose Hypertension?

Blood pressure can be checked using an instrument called a sphygmomanometer. Only one high blood pressure reading is not used to diagnose this condition. A person is said to be hypertensive only if the blood pressure is elevated for most readings taken in a week. To rule out causes of hypertension, your doctor might suggest you get the following tests done:

  • ECG (electrocardiogram) - To monitor your heart function.

  • Renal Function Test - To check the functioning of the kidneys.

  • Blood Test - To check the levels of serum electrolytes, blood glucose, and cholesterol.

How to Treat Hypertension?

The common medicines used to treat hypertension are:

  1. Diuretics - Chlorthalidone, Hydrochlorothiazide.

  2. Beta-blockers - Atenolol, Acebutolol.

  3. Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors - Lisinopril, Captopril.

  4. Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers (ARBs) - Candesartan, Losartan.

  5. Alpha-beta Blockers - Carvedilol, Labetalol.

  6. Renin-inhibitors - Aliskiren.

  7. Calcium channel Blockers - Amlodipine, Diltiazem.

  8. Alpha-blockers - Doxazosin, Prazosin.

  9. Aldosterone Antagonists - Spironolactone, Eplerenone.

What Are the Lifestyle Modifications to Be Made?

With various available medicines, high blood pressure can easily be controlled. Besides medicines, people should pay attention to the following lifestyle modification measures.

  • Stop smoking.

  • Exercise for at least 30 minutes daily (walking too is fine).

  • Maintain a healthy weight.

  • Limit salt intake.

  • Meditate to reduce stress.

  • Limit the consumption of alcohol.

  • Eat fresh fruits and vegetables.

  • Go for regular health check-ups with a physician.

What Are the Complications Associated With Hypertension?

Untreated hypertension can lead to:


To prevent complications or diagnose hypertension early, go for regular checkups or monitor your blood pressure at home. Keep a record of your blood pressure, and consult with a doctor online if you notice that the readings are consistently high.

Frequently Asked Questions


Why Is Hypertension Referred to as the Silent Killer?

Hypertension or high blood pressure is a common condition wherein the blood flows under pressure through the blood vessels. It is known as the silent killer because people do not experience any symptoms, but it increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and congestive cardiac failure.


What Complications Can Occur if Hypertension Is Left Untreated for a Long?

Though the patient remains asymptomatic in hypertension, the condition must not be ignored. This is because untreated hypertension can damage the blood vessels resulting in the accumulation of low-density lipoprotein or LDL. In addition, it can give rise to other diseases like diabetes, increase the risk of stroke and worsen the quality of life.


Do People With Chronic Hypertension Live Long?

Chronic or long-standing hypertension is a matter of concern because it can have detrimental effects on vital body organs. However, people who consult their doctor regularly, take their suggested medications on time, and follow all the dietary and lifestyle modifications tend to live long.


What Are Some of the Causes of Hypertension?

Hypertension occurs in one out of 20 patients due to underlying medical conditions. The other common causes of hypertension are listed below:
- Diabetes.
- Kidney diseases.
- Thyroid problems.
- Lupus.
- Scleroderma.
- Glomerulonephritis.


Can Hypertension Be Treated Permanently?

Hypertension cannot be cured or treated permanently. However, the blood pressure can be kept under control using appropriate medications. In addition, people with mild hypertension can follow lifestyle modifications to bring their blood pressure under control.


Will a Patient Remain Hypertensive Throughout His Life?

Hypertension is common among males due to several factors, including kidney diseases, diabetes, etc. One cannot get rid of hypertension completely, but the use of antihypertensive drugs, a healthy diet, and physical activities are the key treatment measures for hypertension.


Is Hypertension a Mental Disorder?

Hypertension is not a mental disorder, but studies report that there is a strong connection between the two. Hypertensive patients are more likely to experience mood swings, anxiety, and depression than those with normal blood pressure.


Is Hypertension a Common Condition?

Studies report that more than 700 million people have untreated hypertension. In addition, the incidence of hypertension has elevated from 650 million to 1.2 billion over the past few years. Hence, it can be regarded as a common condition.


Can a Patient With Hypertension Feel Tired?

Hypertension does not produce any physical symptoms. However, some people complain of fatigue or tiredness because of the condition itself. In addition, if hypertension is left untreated for a long time, the patient can have other severe conditions.


Can the Patient Have Hypertension Due to Insomnia?

Lack of sleep or insomnia is one of the risk factors for hypertension. This is because poor sleep gives rise to an unhealthy lifestyle and stress, which can elevate a person’s blood pressure. In addition, people who drink alcohol or smoke are at a higher risk of developing hypertension.


What Are Some Foods That Increase Blood Pressure?

The food items that increase blood pressure are listed below:
- Table salt.
- Processed foods.
- Fast food or fried foods.
- Caffeine.
- Alcohol.
- Soda.
- Canned or frozen meals.

Last reviewed at:
11 Jan 2023  -  3 min read




Comprehensive Medical Second Opinion.Submit your Case

Related Questions & Answers

Hypertension: Overcome the Highs

Article Overview: This article talks about hypertension, a condition in which the pressure exerted by the blood, on the walls of the arteries, is too high. Read Article

What Is Blood Pressure? Blood pressure (BP) is the amount of pressure exerted by the flowing blood upon the walls of the arteries. It is measured by the mm (millimeters) of Hg (mercury). The normal value is around 120/80 mm Hg. Of which 120 refers to the systolic blood pressure and 80 indicates the...  Read Article

Hypertension - How Aware Are You?

Article Overview: This simple quiz tests your knowledge and teaches you hypertension facts. Read Article

Saumya Mittal
Saumya Mittal
Internal Medicine

Please check the answer key and get to know how much you know about hypertension based on your score. 0-3: You need to learn more 3-6: A little more knowledge is good for health > 6: Keep updating yourself Question 1: Hypertensive patients should avoid exercise a) True b) False Answer:...  Read Article

Low Blood Pressure (Hypotension)

Article Overview: Blood pressure is the force exerted by the blood flowing in the blood vessels on the walls of the vessels. Without this force, oxygen and nutrients would not reach the tissues and organs of the body. The heart exerts this pressure by forcing the blood out with every contraction. The increase or decrease of blood pressure depends on the circumference of the blood vessel and the force by which the heart pumps the blood Read Article

What Is Blood Pressure? Blood pressure is the force exerted by the blood flowing in the blood vessels on the walls of the vessels. Without this force, oxygen and nutrients would not reach the tissues and organs of the body. The heart exerts this pressure by forcing the blood out with every contracti...  Read Article

Popular Articles Most Popular Articles

Do you have a question on Hypertension or Blood Pressure?

Ask a Doctor Online

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Disclaimer: No content published on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website. Read our Editorial Process to know how we create content for health articles and queries.