General Medicine Related FAQ's

Question: What are the risk factors for development of hypertension?
Answer: There are modifiable and non modifiable risk factors of hypertension. Modifiable includes unhealthy diet like diet high in sodium and cholesterol and low in potassium and fibres, smoking & chewing of tobacco, sedentary lifestyle and stress. Whereas age, gender, black ethnicity and genetic factors are the non-modifiable ones.

Question: Is hypertension a silent killer?
Answer: Yes, as many a times patient is unaware of the situation, because it doesn’t cause any symptoms, that’s why patients generally presents late, when hypertension had already created fatal complications in them. That’s why hypertension is called “SILENT KILLER”. In order to avoid this, regular visit to a physician for proper BP monitoring is necessary.

Question: What is the difference between Primary and Secondary hypertension?
Answer: Primary hypertension which accouns for 90-95% of cases. It develops in later stages of life. Root cause of it being genetic and environmental factors. Secondary hypertension accouns for 5-10% of cases. It develops in younger population with family history of earlier onset hypertension. It develops secondary to cardiovascular, renovascular & hormonal or endocrinal issues. Primary hyperaldosteronism is the most common cause of secondary hypertension.

Question: What is hypertensive crisis?
Answer: Hypertensive crisis is a condition in which sudden & severe increase in SBP above 180 mmHg &/or DBP above 120 mmHg occurs. A hypertensive crisis is a medical emergency. It can lead to a heart attack, stroke or other life-threatening health problems.

Question: Are there any non pharmacological treatment for hypertension?
Answer: Following non pharmacological should be taken into account for hypertension control.
1. Consumption of DASH diet.
2. <6 gm salt (NaCl) &/ or <2.5 gm sodium (Na) per day
3. Have diet high in K, Ca, Mg
4. Decrease or avoid alcohol consumption.
5. Abstinence from smoking or chewing tobacco.
6. Doing daily exercise & weight reduction.

Question: Are antihypertensive medications habit forming?
Answer: No, they are not habit forming. Antihypertensive medications are the need of Hypertensive patients, as their breath is! BP control by Antihypertensive medications protect from the complications of hypertension.

Question: What is Blood Pressure?
Answer: Blood Pressure (BP) is the force exerted by the circulating blood against the wall of arteries. It has two component Systolic Blood Pressure (SBP) (upper reading) and Diastolic Blood Pressure (DBP)(lower reading). Normal BP is <120/80 mmHg.

Question: What is hypertension?
Answer: According to the latest classification of hypertension, BP is ELEVATED, if it is in between 120–129/ <80. And if BP is >130/>80 then it is called HYPERTENSION.

Que: What are the different instrument to measure BP?
Answer: There are different instruments like mercury sphygmomanometer, Digital BP apparatus or Home BP monitoring device and Ambulatory BP monitoring device etc.

Que: Does physiological variation exist in BP readings?
Answer: Yes, variation occurs in BP readings like BP increases with increase in age, weight, obesity, excitement, stress, tension & muscular exercise or activity. Drop in BP is seen during sleep, which is also a normal physiological phenomenon.

Question: What are do’s and dont’s for accurate BP reading?
1. You should be empty bladder before measuring BP.
2. You should be physically & mentally relax.
3. Lie down on examination couch in supine position or sit comfortably with back support & feet flat on floor.

1. You should not talk during BP measurement
2. You should avoid following things at least 30 min before BP measurement.
a. Smoking or chewing tobacco
b. Drink coffee
c. Exercise