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Terms in this set (54)

Hypertension - high blood pressure, condition of sustained arterial pressure of 140/90 or higher, and the higher the pressure, the greater the risk for serious cardiovascular problems.

•Causes
Heredity. Hypertension runs in families. Children of hypertensive parents are twice as likely to develop hypertension as are children of normotensive parents, and more blacks than whites are hypertensive. Many of the factors listed here require a genetic predisposition, and the course of the disease varies in different population groups.
Diet. Dietary factors that contribute to hypertension include high intakes of salt (NaCl), saturated fat, and cholesterol and deficiencies in certain metal ions
Obesity.
Age. Clinical signs of the disease usually appear after age 40.
Diabetes mellitus.
Stress. Particularly at risk are "hot reactors," people whose blood pressure zooms upward during every stressful event.
Smoking.Nicotine

•strains the heart and damages the arteries.Prolonged hypertension is the major cause of heart failure, vascular disease, renal failure, and stroke. Because the heart is forced to pump against greater resistance, it must work harder, and in time the myocardium enlarges.When finally strained beyond its capacity to respond, the heart weakens and its walls become flabby. Hypertension also ravages the blood vessels, accelerating the progress of atherosclerosis the vessels become increasingly blocked, blood flow to the tissues becomes inadequate and vascular complications appear in the brain, heart, kidneys, and retinas of the eyes.