Associates In Kidney Disease & Hypertension

Hypertension & Kidney Disease

Hypertension is defined as elevated blood pressure in the arteries.  It is a major cause of kidney failure in the United States.  As a person's heart muscle contracts, it pushes blood into the major arteries. It is the pressure within the arteries that is measured in blood pressure readings. The first value of this measurement is called the systolic pressure, which is usually 100 to 130 mmHg (millimeters of mercury) . The second value, the diastolic pressure, is normally between 70 and 80 mmHg.  A normal blood pressure might be expressed as 110/70 (110 over 70). Generally, a systolic pressure higher than 140 and a diastolic pressure higher than 90 is used to define hypertension in adults. In some individuals, an underlying cause such as blockage of the blood flowing to the kidney or a tumor in the adrenal gland or hormone imbalance may be responsible for the blood pressure problem. This can be further evaluated and treated by a nephrologist. High blood pressure often has no physical symptoms.  It is dangerous and can actually do damage to the body's organs (the heart, the brain, the kidneys) before it is diagnosed.  Hypertension can lead silently, but directly, to heart attack, stroke, congestive heart failure, and kidney disease - sometimes requiring dialysis and sometimes transplantation. Patients are considered high risk if they have blood pressures near the top of the normal range, or have a family history of high blood pressure. 

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