Study Shows Untreated Hypertension Leads to Resistant Form
Resistant hypertension is defined as blood pressure which remains higher than treatment goals, regardless of the fact that the patient is taking an optimal three drug regiment of anti-hypertension medications, including a diuretic. Surprisingly, incidence and prognosis of this particular condition is unknown to a large degree.
In 2012, blood pressure researchers Daughterty and colleagues conducted a clinical study that included hypertensive subjects where treatment was initiated between 2002 and 2006. Follow-up was done to monitor the development of resistant hypertension using the data collected on blood pressure measurements and prescription refilling information. The investigators collected data on approximately 206,000 patients with hypertension.
Close to two percent developed resistant hypertension, within 18 months of starting treatment. These subjects were mostly older males with higher instances of diabetes. Four years later, occurrences of “cardiovascular events” (i.e. myocardial infarction, stroke, heart failure, chronic kidney disease or death) were significantly higher in patients who had resistant hypertension. The scientists concluded that 1 in 50 subjects went on to develop resistant hypertension among those who previously had incidence high blood pressure. Resistant hypertensive patients had an elevated risk of cardiovascular events. These conclusions support the necessity for greater improvements in hypertension outcomes within this population.
High blood pressure is defined as 140/90 or more. The adult population should ideally have a blood pressure lower than 120/80. Many fall into an in between category, known as pre-hypertension. Approximately one in three Americans suffers from hypertension.
Blood pressure is a measurement of the pressure that your blood exerts, against the arterial walls while it courses throughout your body. While it is normal for your blood pressure to fluctuate during the day, if it stays elevated, you have hypertension. When your blood pressure remains high, it begins to damage your heart, blood vessels and kidneys possibly leading to a stroke or heart attack. Known as the “silent killer,” hypertension typically causes no symptoms while it is doing its damage.
Blood pressure readings are made up of two numbers referred to as systolic and diastolic. For example, a reading of 120/80 translates as 120 systolic pressure over 80 diastolic pressure. The upper number (systolic) indicates the force of blood against the vessels when the heart is pumping. The lower number (diastolic) records the force of blood between heartbeats. In other words, this occurs when your heart is in a relaxed state and filling with blood.
Causes and Risk Factors for High Blood Pressure
In the majority of diagnosed cases, doctors can not determine the exact cause. However, several things are known to be risk factors for hypertension including:
• Obesity or overweight
• Consuming excess alcohol
• Family history of hypertension
• Eating too much sodium
Three Step Treatment Approach at Patient First Wellness
High blood pressure does not typically have any symptoms. Patients often find out they have it during a routine doctor visit. Extreme hypertension may cause vision problems, headaches, nausea and vomiting. Dangerously high blood pressure should be considered a medical emergency, as it puts you at risk for a heart attack or stroke.
At Patient First Wellness, the board certified Las Vegas doctors treat high blood pressure using a three step approach.
Step One: Assessing the Patient
Treatment for hypertension depends on how high it is, whether you have any other health conditions (i.e. diabetes), whether there are any damaged organs and if you have any risk factors for heart disease.
Step Two: Treatment Recommendations
Healthy lifestyle changes can help lower your blood pressure. However, if that has no significant effect, your doctor will likely put you on one of several anti-hypertensive medications. Many people have to take more than one medication to keep their blood pressure under control. Regardless of the treatment used, lifetime control is the key to success.
Step Three: Preventing Resistant Hypertension
Positive lifestyle habits help prevent high blood pressure. They can also help with the development of the resistant form of hypertension. These include:
• Maintaining a healthy weight or shedding excess weight
• Eating less table salt and foods high in sodium
• Exercising regularly
• Limiting alcohol consumption (1 drink per day for women, 2 drink per day for men)
How Patient’s Choice Medical Center Can Help
Basic health care costs can be very high at many Las Vegas medical clinics. As a result, many people tend to neglect their overall health and wellbeing because they are afraid they will be unable to pay the bills. Eventually, this can result in having to lay out even more money on health care. Stop worrying about not having medical insurance coverage. Make an appointment today with one of the many Patient’s Choice Medical Center doctors in Las Vegas who give you a low cost alternative for ongoing treatment of all your medical needs.