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Health promotion College - Essay Example

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Hypertension, a hidden and prevalent health risk in which blood pressure is appreciably elevated above normal, is a condition which, if left undetected and untreated, will put people in real peril of more serious health problems such as cardiovascular disease or kidney failure (Hart et al, 2000)…
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Download file "Health promotion College Essay" to see previous pages... Though explicit risks may occur during pregnancy and later in motherhood, many other unhealthy choices in numerous young adult lifestyles, such as excessive alcohol consumption, unwholesome cravings for fast food, routine motorized transit with scant exercise, and other risky behaviours come seriously into play (UK Department of Health,
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2006).
The majority of hypertensive individuals suffer from primary or essential hypertension which can be a many-sided enigma in that there are typically few if any warning signs and little definite evidence to indicate why the blood pressure is so elevated (Laverack, 2004). A tendency to higher than normal blood pressure can frequently be genetic and, for certain temperaments, persistent daily stress may heighten the problem further (Hart et al, 2000).
To identify possible causes of hypertension takes complex detective work, though, as prevalent as it is in the wider population, higher-than-normal blood pressure itself is easily measured by screening for and monitoring it (Laverack, 2004). Predictably up to forty percent of adults in the UK suffer from hypertension, many unknowingly. The World Health Organization recognises high blood pressure world-wide as one of the major liabilities for premature death that is most easily tested for and treated (McNair, 2005). Detection of hypertension plays a leading role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, which accounts for about a third of all deaths in the UK. Almost one out of four British women dies from heart failure (McNair, 2005).
The epidemiological data suggests that hypertension within populations is directly related to mortality rates (UK Department of Health, 2006). High blood pressure is less a specific disease than a significant risk factor for other diseases and proves to be especially risky in that it so easily goes unnoticed and unmanaged (Stansfeld & Marmot, 2002). At the higher end of hypertensive problems across the population is the increased probability of unforeseen untimely death from stroke, heart disease, or kidney failure. At the lower end of the distribution curve is mild hypertension for which the risk of escalation and premature death can be lowered with responsible life choices for keeping a safe, healthy, normal blood pressure (Scala, 2002).
Risk Factors for Hypertension
One of the more common contributions to high blood pressure is the sedentary lifestyle prevalent in modern society. Exercise helps maintain normal blood pressure, but few of the young women in our contemporary world get the amount and quality needed to stay fit (Sullivan, 2005). Smoking is another source of hypertension. A cigarette lit habitually, while meant to relax, actually raises blood pressure as it forces the heart to work harder to sustain blood flow (Naidoo & Wills, 2005) . In addition, excess weight also forces the heart to pump harder, and when hypertension is diagnosed, getting rid of surplus pounds is a critical goal (Boaz, 2002). Along the same line a cholesterol-rich diet, excessive salt intake, and heavy alcohol consumption can all be factors contributing to a dangerous increase of blood pressure (Lucas & Lloyd, 2005).

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