Hypertension is characterized by high blood pressure in the arteries. In most cases, it is related to genetic factors, about 90% of hypertensive patients. However, according to Alexandre Anderson, a cardiologist at the Águas Claras / Dasa unit in Hospital Brasília, it can also be linked to obesity, non-restorative sleep, smoking, a sedentary lifestyle and excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages. “Lifestyles in childhood and adolescence, especially those related to physical activity and healthy food choices, can determine the onset of high blood pressure in early adulthood,” emphasizes Dr. Alexandre Anderson.
According to Águas Claras, a cardiologist at Brasília Hospital, about 70% of high blood pressure patients need combinations to control the condition in order for a doctor to prescribe medication to improve blood pressure. “Although quiet when arterial blood pressure levels are very high, some symptoms may occur, such as chest pain, dizziness, ringing in the ears, and headache. You have to be careful, the expert says.
Studies for diagnosis and evaluation
A quick way to assess if your blood pressure is high is to measure the pressure using an automatic measuring device. According to the latest SBC guidelines for hypertension, the reference values for people considered normal would be close to 12 x 8 to 120 x 80 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and for people with hypertension above 140 x 90 millimeters. mercury (mmHg). Among these values would be people with pre-hypertension.
“People over the age of 20 are advised to check their blood pressure at least once a year. For those with a family history, it is recommended to measure blood pressure twice a year, ”emphasizes Márcio Epifanio, a cardiologist in the diagnostic area of the Dasa Centro-Oeste Network (Exame Medicina Diagnóstica, Atalaia Medicina Diagnóstica, Cedic Cedilab Imagem and Bioclinic Laboratory and Laboratory).
The cardiologist emphasizes that in addition to regular clinical checkups by a cardiologist or general practitioner, there are both laboratory and imaging tests, or even cardiovascular tests (complement), to help identify the disease and assess its cause.
Your doctor may require, among other things, biochemical tests to collect blood and / or urine to assess blood glucose, cholesterol, insulin, vitamin D and iron levels, for example. “This allows us to assess, for example, kidney and liver function and even diagnose some diseases, such as a tumor from the cells of the adrenal glands (pheochromocytoma) that can cause high blood pressure. Sometimes a disease is suspected on the basis of a blood test, ”explains the cardiologist.
According to the doctor, another examination that can also be shown in the evaluation is an x-ray. It makes it possible to check for brain damage caused by hypertension, such as ischemia. “There’s also an abdominal tomography scan that evaluates the kidney section and checks for pheochromocytoma or not,” the doctor adds.
The cardiologist will also emphasize the ECG examination and exercise test, which makes it possible to detect cardiovascular problems, including arrhythmias and, in a special case, hypertension, to monitor the pressure curve – if there is a hypertensive response to the effort. “An electrocardiogram is a very important test that not only assesses whether a person has an arrhythmia due to blood pressure or heart disease, but also any suspicions of heart hyperplasia and left atrial overload. It’s an experiment that needs to be done routinely in the evaluation, ”he explains.
Other tests for evaluating a patient include renal artery Doppler tests, which are designed to rule out one cause of hypertension, which is renal artery stenosis. “Abdominal ultrasound can also be done together to assess whether there is kidney damage, kidney size and function, and whether there is an aortic aneurysm,” he emphasizes.
Finally, the expert confirms the importance of performing echocardiography (cardiac ultrasound). “It’s an extremely important test because we can assess whether hypertension has already caused damage to the heart muscle. If the cavities are already enlarged and if there is left ventricular hypertrophy and heart failure. Echocardiography can provide a lot of information in a relatively simple study that does not harm the body, ”says cardiologist Márcio Epifanio.