Management of Hypertension: Hypertension, or high blood pressure , is a condition in which blood is pumped through the body at a higher pressure than normal blood pressure. This pressure is naturally created when the heart pumps blood to carry nutrients and oxygen to all parts of the body.
How Blood Pressure is measured?
Blood Pressure (BP) is measured with two numbers – The “systolic” and “diastolic” numbers. the systolic number measures the pressure in blood vessels of each heartbeat, while the diastolic measures the pressure between heartbeats. Millimeters of mercury (mmHg) is the unit used when measuring blood pressure. Individuals with hypertension have systolic blood pressure of 140mmHg or more, or diastolic blood pressure of 90 mmHg or more or both.
Categories of Blood Pressure (BP) Levels
Based on Singapore MOH’s (minstry of health) guidelines, the hypertension is classified as grade 1 and 2 hypertension.
Categories of Blood Pressure (BP) Levels in Adults Age 18 Years and Above
|Blood Pressure Level (mmHg)|
|Category||Systolic BP (mmHg)||Diastolic BP (mmHg)|
|Normal BP||< 130||< 80|
|High – Normal BP||130 – 139||80 – 89|
|Grade 1 Hypertension||140 – 159 *||90 – 99|
|Grade 2 Hypertension||³ 160 *||³ 100|
|Isolated Systolic Hypertension*||³ 140||< 90|
*Isolated systolic hypertension is graded according to the same level of systolic BP
Source: MOH Clinical Practice Guidelines 2/2005
Why Hypertension is a silent killer?
Hypertension is a common condition that affects many people. its occurrence rises with age, making it more prevalent among the aging population. Because it might not present any symptoms, people may be unaware that they have this condition. As such , hypertension is often referred to as a “silent killer” since it can quietly damage the body over time, leading to complications with the heart , kidneys, blood vessels, and eyesight.
Risk factors of developing hypertension
Although there are no identifiable causes of hypertension, there are certain risk factors of developing it. These lifestyle factors include
- lack of exercise,
- high salt diets,
- smoking, and
If left untreated, high blood pressure increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases like stroke, chronic kidney diseases, and heart failure.
Management of hypertension should start early
Managing hypertension starts with awareness and early detection. If detected early enough , potential risks can be reduced and controlled. This is especially important for the elderly who should have regular health screenings scheduled to prevent any serious health problems, including hypertension related complications. There are also self-care and lifestyle approaches to reduce the likelihood of developing hypertension and manage it early and better.
The checklist for management of hypertension
- Get a blood pressure monitor for your home, check and monitor the blood pressure regularly at home
- Maintain a healthy body weight, keep your BMI is the healthy range. Please refer to the table below for BMI calculation and classification ranges.
- Exercise regularly: Exercise regularly, perfectly at least three times a week. Walking is one of the best forms of exercise you can do. Lack of exercise is associated with a low HDL-cholesterol (or “good” cholesterol) level.
- Maintain a healthy diet : avoid foods high in cholesterol such as prawns and crabs, and saturated fats such as animal fats. Choose lean meat, fish, low fat dairy products, and a low salt diet. Increase fibre intake of fruits and whole grains to speed up the removal of cholesterol from blood.
- Don’t smoke: Don’t smoke, or try to stop smoking. Smoking increases blood pressure and is the risk factor for coronary artery diseases and stroke.
- Manage stress: Manage stress, relax, and adopt a balanced approach to work and family life.
Body Mass Index (BMI) Classification by Public Health Action in Asians
Body mass index = Weight (kg)/ Height (m) x Height (m)
|BMI (kg/m2) (for adults)||Risk of Heart Disease and Diabetes|
|27.5 and above||High Risk|
|23.0 – 27.4||Moderate Risk|
|18.5 – 22.9||Low Risk (healthy range)|
|Less than 18.5||Risk of nutritional deficiency diseases and osteoporosis|
Source: Health Promotion Board, Singapore
In conclusion, Management of hypertension is important. Hypertension is such a chronic health condition that can be effectively curbed by managing your blood pressure through a healthy lifestyle alongside prescribed medicine.