Hypertension: All about “The Silent Killer”


Maintaining a good lifestyle is fundamental to prevent the presentation of hypertension, mainly in those patients who have a family history of the disease.



Hypertension, known by many as the “silent killer”, is one of the main chronic conditions that occur throughout the world and in our country. It usually manifests in adults over 40 years of age; however, with bad habits and bad practices in Lifestyle, hypertension is occurring in younger and younger people.

Blood pressure is the force exerted by the arteries on the blood to carry it clean and oxygenated from the heart and throughout the body; Is divided into two: diastolic blood pressure consisting of the force exerted by the heart when it is filling with blood, and systolic blood pressure, which is the force exerted on the arteries when the heart expels blood to the whole body.

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Normal blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg and hypertension is considered when these numbers rise to 140 or more in the case of the first figure and to 90 or more in the almost the second figure.


Hypertension is classified according to pressure levels. The following table is a clear example:

CATEGORY SYSTEMIC                  PRESSURE (mmHg)               DIASTOLIC PRESSURE (mmHg)

Great                                                      Less than 120                           Less than 80

Normal                                                   Less than 130                           Less than 85

High normal                                            130 to 139                                 85-89

Arterial            Stage 1 (discreet)          140 to 159                                90 to 99

Hypertension Stage 2 (moderate)       160 to 179                                100 to 109

                         Stage 3 (severe)          180 to 209                                 110 to 119

                        Stage 4 (very severe)   210 or more                              120 or more

Classification according to JNC-V 1993 and VI 1997.

It is important to classify in which stage each patient is to prevent the damage that this disease can produce to different organs.


Hypertension is known as the silent killer precisely because many patients do not have symptoms of the disease until there is some complication.

However, some patients do have manifestations, such as:

  • Pulsed type headache that may occur in the frontal or occipital area (in the neck and up)
  • Tinnitus of ears (tinnitus)
  • See lights (phosphenes)
  • Dizziness

If you think you have major risk factors and you may be having hypertension, do not wait for clinical manifestations. You can and should take your blood pressure to rule out the problem.


There are very specific risk factors for the presentation of hypertension. The main ones are:

  • Being male or female after menopause
  • Having a family history of high blood pressure
  • Having diabetes mellitus
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Being subjected to intense stress
  • Smoke
  • Drink alcohol in excess
  • Black race
  • Sedentary lifestyle


Usually patients with hypertension will be manifesting essential hypertension; That is a hypertension of which the precise causes are not known; however, there are secondary hypertensions which are caused by some other underlying disease. The main causes of secondary hypertension are:

  • Taking medicines to fight the cold
  • Renal disorders such as kidney failure or glomerulonephritis (inflammation of the kidneys)
  • Thyroid problems
  • Preeclampsia
  • Consumption of drugs


Hypertension can present many complications, but it is the main cause of cardiovascular risk. Some of the complications that people with hypertension may have are:

  • Cardiovascular: heart failure, myocardial infarction.
  • Renal: renal failure.
  • Eyepieces: hypertensive retinopathy blindness.
  • Brain: ischemic or hemorrhagic cerebrovascular event.