FAQs about Blood Pressure

Omron 705CPII Blood Pressure Monitor

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Approximately 16 million people in the UK suffer from High Blood Pressure - that is more than 1 in 5 !!

Many are unaware of the problem until damage has been done.

There are no symptoms, nearly one-third of these people don't know they have it. In fact, many people have high blood pressure for years without knowing it. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to stroke, heart attack, heart failure or kidney failure. This is why high blood pressure is often called the "silent killer." The only way to tell if you have high blood pressure is to have your blood pressure checked or to check it yourself with an accurate reliable blood pressure monitor such as our stock of Omron products.

What Is High Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is the force in the arteries when the heart beats (systolic pressure) and when the heart is at rest (diastolic pressure).

It is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). Blood pressure is measured using two numbers:

The first figure is the systolic blood pressure - the maximum pressure in the arteries when the heart contracts (beats) and pushes blood out into the body.

The second figure is the diastolic blood pressure. This is the minimum pressure in the arteries between beats when the heart relaxes to fill with blood.

The systolic pressure is always listed first, then the diastolic pressure. A typical normal blood pressure reading would be 120/80 mmHg.

High blood pressure (or hypertension) is normally defined in an adult as a blood pressure greater than or equal to 140 mm Hg systolic pressure or greater than or equal to 90 mm Hg diastolic pressure.

What Are The Problems ?

High blood pressure directly increases the risk of coronary heart disease (which leads to heart attack) and stroke, especially when it's present with other risk factors. High blood pressure can occur in children or adults, but it's more common among people over age 35. It's particularly prevalent in middle-aged and elderly people, obese people, heavy drinkers and women taking birth control pills. It may run in families, but many people with a strong family history of high blood pressure never have it. People with diabetes mellitus, gout or kidney disease are more likely to have high blood pressure, too.

Do I Have High Blood Pressure ?

Blood pressure tends to rise naturally the older that we get.

This is caused by reduced elasticity of the arterial system. Age is therefore one of the factors that needs to be taken into account in deciding whether a person's blood pressure is too high.

In very general terms:

People with a systolic blood pressure consistently above 160mmHg and/or a diastolic pressure over 100mmHg need treatment to lower their blood pressure.

People with slightly lower blood pressures (140-159mmHg systolic or 90-99mmHg diastolic) may also need treatment if they have a high risk of developing cardiovascular disease, eg stroke or angina (chest pains).

Blood Pressure Category Systolic
(mm Hg)
(mm Hg)
Normal less than 120 and less than 80
Prehypertension 120–139 or 80–89
Stage 1 140–159 or 90–99
Stage 2 160 or higher or 100 or higher

Are There Any Symptoms ?

Unfortunately, there are very few symptoms of high blood pressure - hence the name 'the silent killer'.

It can very easily go unnoticed until it causes one of its later complications such as a stroke or heart attack. One of the major complications is narrowing of the arteries, causing stroke, heart attack, heart failure and eye damage.

Severe hypertension can cause symptoms such as headaches, sleepiness, confusion.

Reasons For High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) ?

For many people the cause is unknown. This is called 'primary' or 'essential hypertension'.

In the remaining population, there is an underlying cause. This is called 'secondary hypertension'.

Some of the main causes for secondary hypertension can be chronic kidney diseases, diseases in the arteries supplying the kidneys, hormonal disturbances, endocrine tumors and chronic alcohol abuse.

Is There Anything I Can Do ?

Having a regular blood pressure check is a good start so that you 'know your numbers' In the event that you have hypertension, then treatment can be started before any complications arise.

many people with hypertension find that a change to their lifestyle can have huge benefits. This may involve losing weight,cutting down on alcohol intake, taking regular exercise, eating fresh fruit and vegetables, avoiding stress and giving up smoking.

If a lifestyle change does not lower your blood pressure then you will probably need the help of medication.

Medication ?

There are many medications available to successfully reduce and control hypertension.

These include:

ACE inhibitors

These stop the production of a hormone which makes the blood vessels narrow. As a result, the vessels expand, improving blood flow. Tension in the circulation is also lowered by the kidneys filtering more fluid from the blood vessels into urine. This also helps reduce blood pressure.

Angiotensin-II receptor antagonists work in a similar way to ACE inhibitors. But instead of stopping the production of angiotensin II, they block its action. This allows the blood vessels to expand, improving blood flow and reducing blood pressure.

Beta-blockers block the effect of the hormone adrenaline and the sympathetic nervous system on the body. This relaxes the heart so that it beats more slowly, lowering the blood pressure.

Others include alpha blockers, calcium channel blockers and diuretics.

Should I Buy A Blood Pressure Monitor ?

It is always a good idea to 'know your numbers' .

There is no harm in self testing at home or in the office with a reliable, accurate blood pressure monitor. That is why we stock the Omron range - world leaders in blood pressure monitor technology. Armed with this information, a visit to your Doctor or Healthcare Professional is recommended to address any concerns that you may have.

By treating hypertension early,, complications can be avoided and average life expectancy will remain almost normal.

Without treatment, life expectancy may well be reduced due to the risk of developing complications such as heart failure or stroke 

Important Disclaimer

The Above Is Only A Guide.

You Must Consult A Health Professional In All Cases If You Suspect You Are Suffering From Or Suspect You May Be Suffering From Hypertension .


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