Hypertension and the Family Definition Thesis

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Hypertension and the Family

Definition Of Hypertension:

As a disease, hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a common and often asymptomatic disorder (i.e., displaying no physical symptoms) characterized by an elevated blood pressure persistently exceeding 140/90 mm Hg. Essential hypertension, the most frequent type, has no single identifiable cause but the risk of the disorder is greatly increased via obesity, a high sodium level in the blood serum, hypercholesterolemia, and of course a family history of high blood pressure, meaning that hypertension may be an inherited disorder (Lhotta, K., Janecke, a.R., 2009, p. 1356).

As to blood pressure (BP), this can be defined as the pressure exerted by the circulating volume of the blood on the walls of the arteries, veins and the chambers of the heart. Overall blood pressure is maintained "by the complex interaction of the homeostatic mechanism of the body, moderated by the volume of the blood, the lumen of the arteries and the force of cardiac contractions" (Trudel, X., 2009, p. 1565). The pressure in the aorta and the large arteries of a healthy male adult is approximately 120 mm Hg during systole and 70 mm Hg in diastole with a pulse pressure of about 50 mm Hg.

Some of the known causes of hypertension include adrenal disorders, such as aldosteronism, "a condition characterized by hypersecretion of aldosterone of the adrenal cortex" (Chummun, H., 2009, p. 785), Cushing's Syndrome, "a metabolic disorder resulting from the chronic production of cortisol by the adrenal cortex" (Chummun, H., 2009, p. 785),

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pheochromocytoma, "a vascular tumor of chromaffin tissue of the adrenal medulla" (Masterson, K.L., 2007, p. 350), and other related disorders associated with the kidneys.

INCIDENCE:

Thesis on Hypertension and the Family Definition of Hypertension: Assignment

The incidence of hypertension is higher in males than in females and is twice as great in African-Americans and Hispanics as compared to whites. Persons with mild or moderate hypertension may be asymptomatic or may experience suboccipital headaches, especially after awaking from bed, tinnitus, light-headedness and palpitations. Since hypertension has become so prevalent in the United States over the last twenty years or so, the disorder has begun to show up in young adults, teenagers and even children, due in part to being overweight or obese, a poor diet and a lack of adequate exercise (Schoenthaler, a., Ravenell, J., 2007, p. 395).

OUTCOME CRITERIA:

As a.L. Baggish and R.B. Weiner (2009) point out, any factor that increases peripheral resistance or cardiac output affects the blood pressure. For example, strong emotion tends to do both; thus, "it is important to try to secure a blood pressure reading when the person is at rest" (104). Increased peripheral resistance usually increases the diastolic pressure (i.e., the bottom number) and increased cardiac output tends to increase the systolic pressure (i.e., the top number). Of course, blood pressure increases with age, due to the decrease in distensibility of the veins and arteries. As a person grows older, "an increase in systolic pressure often precedes an increase in diastolic pressure" (Baggish, a.L., Weiner, R.B., 2009, p. 105).

PREVALENCE & STATISTICS:

According to M. Humbert and R. Saggan (2009), hypertension is currently one of the leading causes of heart disease and cardiovascular failure, not only in the U.S. But also globally (p. 368). Before 1980, a number of clinical studies demonstrated that hypertension within the U.S. population was decreasing, but by the early 1990's, hypertension was shown to be increasing, especially among males between the ages of 30 and 50.

In 2000, one important clinical trial showed that almost 30% of the male population in the United States was suffering from hypertension (Schoenthaler, a., Ravenell, J., 2007, p. 395), while another study conducted by the World Health Organization showed that hypertension was increasing in other nations, even in Japan and China where diets are much different than those in the U.S. Overall, incidence rates tend to vary widely and are dependent upon sex/gender, ethnicity, age, and whether or not the affected individual is overweight or obese (Schoenthaler, a., Ravenell, J., 2007, p. 396).

Some of the drugs which are currently being used to treat hypertension include diuretics, such as furosemide and thiazide derivatives, vasodilators like hydralazine and prazosin, sympathetic nervous system depressants and inhibitors, and a number of ganglionic blocking agents. Along with these medications, the affected person is almost always advised to follow a low sodium, low saturated fat diet, quit smoking and to follow a strict… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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