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Hypertension: The silent killer. Know how to avoid it & how to protect yourself. Know the warnings!

Updated: Dec 6, 2022

How often do you get your blood pressure checked?

  • Every week

  • Every month

  • Every year

  • Never

What is blood pressure?

The heart must force blood around the body. Blood pressure is the power (or pressure) that the heart must exceed for the blood to leave the heart and distribute around the body.

The blood pressure depends on the vascular system's internal resistance. For example, a blockage in an artery increases the resistance, so the blood pressure rise.

What is hypertension?

High blood pressure, commonly referred to as hypertension, is when the heart must pump harder to distribute the same amount of blood around the body [1].

Sometimes, like during exercise or pregnancy, hypertension is expected so that we can continue to perform at elevated levels of physics requirements. However, when the blood pressure is unable to return to pre-exercise conditions, or if the blood pressure is naturally elevated while at rest, then this is where hypertension is diagnosed [2].

Silent killer

Hypertension is often referred to as the silent killer, it is very rarely intentionally diagnosed, yet it is such a dangerous disease. It is essential to go and get your blood pressure checked regularly, and a1-hour appointment now can save you many more in the future...

What causes hypertension?

Hypertension is caused when the heart must pump against increased levels of vascular resistance. High blood pressure is also caused by clinical pathology.

Unavoidable common causes of hypertension are:



Family history


Avoidable common causes of hypertension are:

  • Essential hypertension [7]

  • Atherosclerosis [8]

  • Chronic kidney disease [8]

  • Liver disease [9]

  • Thyroid problems [10]

  • Lifestyle [2]

The issue is that for most, hypertension remains uncontrolled [7].

How do we treat hypertension?

We can treat hypertension with pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions:

Non-pharmacological treatments

Pharmacological treatments

How do we avoid hypertension?

  • Early intervention [2]

  • Exercise [5]

  • Healthy gut-microbiota [15]

  • Control blood sugar levels [16]

There are many more, but these are some easy, quick, actionable steps that can be performed NOW.

Let's protect against heart disease, not treat it

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[1] Olesen TB, Pareek M, Stidsen JV, Blicher MK, Rasmussen S, Vishram-Nielsen JKK, et al. Association between antecedent blood pressure, hypertension-mediated organ damage and cardiovascular outcome. Blood Pressure. 2020;29(4):232-40.

[2] Boffa RJ, Constanti M, Floyd CN, Wierzbicki AS. Hypertension in adults: summary of updated NICE guidance. BMJ. 2019:l5310.

[3] Del Pinto R, Ferri C. Hypertension Management at Older Age: An Update. High Blood Pressure & Cardiovascular Prevention. 2019;26(1):27-36.

[4] Song J-J, Ma Z, Wang J, Chen L-X, Zhong J-C. Gender Differences in Hypertension. Journal of Cardiovascular Translational Research. 2020;13(1):47-54.

[5] Gando Y, Sawada SS, Kawakami R, Momma H, Shimada K, Fukunaka Y, et al. Combined association of cardiorespiratory fitness and family history of hypertension on the incidence of hypertension: a long-term cohort study of Japanese males. Hypertension Research. 2018;41(12):1063-9.

[6] Nichols M. Australian heart disease statistics 2015 / Melanie Nichols, Karen Peterson, Jessica Herbert, Laura Alston and Steven Allender. Peterson K, Herbert J, Alston L, Allender S, National Heart Foundation of A, editors. Melbourne: National Heart Foundation of Australia; 2016.

[7] Messerli FH, Williams B, Ritz E. Essential hypertension. The Lancet. 2007;370(9587):591-603.

[8] Johnson RJ, Bakris GL, Borghi C, Chonchol MB, Feldman D, Lanaspa MA, et al. Hyperuricemia, Acute and Chronic Kidney Disease, Hypertension, and Cardiovascular Disease: Report of a Scientific Workshop Organized by the National Kidney Foundation. American Journal of Kidney Diseases. 2018;71(6):851-65.

[9] Zhao Y-C, Zhao G-J, Chen Z, She Z-G, Cai J, Li H. Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. Hypertension. 2020;75(2):275-84.

[10] Berta E, Lengyel I, Halmi S, Zrínyi M, Erdei A, Harangi M, et al. Hypertension in Thyroid Disorders. Frontiers in Endocrinology. 2019;10.

[11] Ponte Márquez PH, Feliu-Soler A, Solé-Villa MJ, Matas-Pericas L, Filella-Agullo D, Ruiz-Herrerias M, et al. Benefits of mindfulness meditation in reducing blood pressure and stress in patients with arterial hypertension. Journal of Human Hypertension. 2019;33(3):237-47.

[12] De La Sierra A, Gorostidi M, Banegas JR, Segura J, De La Cruz JJ, Ruilope LM. Nocturnal Hypertension or Nondipping: Which Is Better Associated With the Cardiovascular Risk Profile? American Journal of Hypertension. 2014;27(5):680-7.

[13] Brunström M, Carlberg B. Association of Blood Pressure Lowering With Mortality and Cardiovascular Disease Across Blood Pressure Levels. JAMA Internal Medicine. 2018;178(1):28.

[14] Yang B, Ren X-L, Li Z-H, Shi M-Q, Ding F, Su K-P, et al. Lowering effects of fish oil supplementation on proinflammatory markers in hypertension: results from a randomized controlled trial. Food & Function. 2020;11(2):1779-89.

[15] Verhaar BJH, Prodan A, Nieuwdorp M, Muller M. Gut Microbiota in Hypertension and Atherosclerosis: A Review. Nutrients. 2020;12(10):2982.

[16] Aboonabi A, Meyer RR, Singh I. The association between metabolic syndrome components and the development of atherosclerosis. Journal of Human Hypertension. 2019;33(12):844-55.


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