Hypertension is defined as an abnormally elevated blood pressure, often above 140/90 mm Hg. The determinants of blood pressure are cardiac output and peripheral vascular resistance as heart pumps through the arteries. Blood pressure should be less than 120/80 mmHg. According to the Texas Heart Institute, hypertension is dubbed “the silent killer” because “more than 33% of Americans have excessive blood pressure, yet 16 million are unaware they have it.” If high blood pressure is not treated, it can result in heart disease or stroke, as well as damage to other organs such as the brain and kidneys, as well as the arteries and the eyes.
Pathology of Hypertension
High blood pressure is defined by increased cardiac output and systemic vascular resistance. While cardiac output is high in younger people, vascular stiffness and systemic vascular strength increase with age. An increase in the stimulation or release of endothelins and angiotensin from the -adrenoceptor may result in an increase in vascular tone. Hypertension is frequently associated with vasoactive substances. For instance, systemic issues affecting atrial natural peptide production may result in atrioventricular fluid retention, which results in hypertension. Vascular remodeling can be facilitated by endothelin and angiotensin growth factors (increase in vascular smooth muscle mass). The increased vascular stiffness and systemic strength put the left ventricle under strain. As a result, left ventricular hypertrophy and diastolic ventricular dysfunction may occur. Additionally, the release of medicines like ouabain’s natural steroid-like molecule might disrupt the sodium-calcium exchange, resulting in vasoconstriction. Genetic factors have also been implicated in the development of primary hypertension.
Nursing considerations for Hypertension
Modifying one’s diet is a crucial component of sustaining a healthy lifestyle. In this situation, when the patient has recently been diagnosed with hypertension, adhering to a DASH diet might assist maintain normal blood pressure levels. Regular exercise is important in lowering blood pressure, stress management, weight management, and lower the chance of developing a variety of health problems. In extreme instances, diuretics, calcium channel blockers, and beta-blockers may be necessary.
The Institute. (2019). Texas Heart Institute. Web.