Hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure, the world's leading attributable cause of death. Affecting an estimated 1.2 billion people worldwide, it is a common cardiovascular disorder in which blood pressure remains abnormally elevated for a sustained period of time.
Many people with hypertension do not have symptoms or feel bad. However, if high blood pressure is not treated, over time, it can significantly increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, heart failure, kidney disease and death, posing serious health risks to those suffering from the disease.
Changing your lifestyle can go a long way toward controlling high blood pressure. Daily exercise, losing weight and eating a healthy diet low in sodium and saturated fats can help lower your cholesterol.
In addition to diet and exercise, your doctor may recommend medication to lower your blood pressure. The type of medication your doctor prescribes depends on your stage of high blood pressure and whether or not you have other medical problems.
What is treatment-resistant hypertension?
Treatment-resistant hypertension is defined as blood pressure that remains high (greater than 140/90 mmHg) despite treatment with three or more antihypertensive medications. Approximately one in ten people with high blood pressure, or nearly 100 million people worldwide, are treatment-resistant. It is an especially dangerous chronic disease because of its association with increased cardiovascular risk, including stroke and heart attack, as well as heart failure and kidney disease. Research suggests that 28 percent of treated hypertensive individuals are considered resistant to treatment, and these patients have a threefold increase in the risk of cardiovascular events compared with individuals with controlled high blood pressure.
Patients with treatment-resistant hypertension are strongly advised to make behavioral and dietary changes. If these treatments are ineffective, additional measures, including investigational interventional therapies, may be recommended.
For more information about treatment of hypertension at the Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center, please call 713-DEBAKEY (332-2539) or complete our online contact us form.