Hypertension is the most common diagnosis in the United States affecting 86 million adults over the age of 20. It is a major risk factor for chronic kidney disease, heart attack, and stroke. Primary or essential hypertension accounts for 90-95 % cases and may be a result of environmental or genetic causes. Secondary hypertension accounts for 2-10% cases and has multiple causes resulting from endocrine, vascular, or kidney related problems.
The JNC 7 (Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure) classification of BP in adults is as follows:
- Elevated blood pressure with a systolic pressure between 120-129mm Hg and diastolic pressure less than 80 mm Hg (formerly called prehypertension)
- Stage 1 Hypertension-systolic pressure 130-139 mm Hg or a diastolic pressure of 80-89 mm Hg
- Stage 2 Hypertension-systolic at least 140 mm Hg or higher ; diastolic at least 90 mm Hg or higher