The term hypertension is also referred to as high blood pressure. The term high blood pressure refers to a measure of the pressure exerted on the walls of blood vessels as the blood pumped by the heart flows through the human body. The measurements of high blood pressure are provided in two figures, for instance, 120 over 80 (expressed as 120/80mmHg). Either one or both of these figures could be too high. The figure which is above is referred to as systolic blood pressure and the lower figure is referred to as diastolic blood pressure (MedlinePlus, 2013).
Hypertension is the most frequent risk factor associated with cardiovascular diseases. It is estimated that about 74.5 million American adults who constitute about a third of the population are diagnosed with hypertension. Additionally, another quarter has been diagnosed to be suffering from pre-hypertension. This predisposes them to the risk of developing high blood pressure. Regardless of the improvements made since the early 1980s with regard to the provision of treatment, creation of awareness, and the management of high blood pressure/hypertension within the United States of America, a relapse diagnosis of high blood pressure in an individual shortens their life expectancy by an average of about five years. This is as a result of the damage caused by the complications of the cardiovascular system which encompasses organs such as the brain, kidneys, eyes and heart (Fitzpatrick & Kazer, 2012).
Hypertension is a significant risk factor associated with cardiovascular diseases. It is mutually exclusive from other risk factors associated with cardiovascular diseases. However, hypertension is associated with several metabolic risk factors. Metabolic syndromes that have been known to be gradually increasing in prevalence are made up of a cluster of risk factors. These risk factors include insulin resistance, abdominal obesity, dyslipidemia, and high blood pressure. Despite that the causal origins are not yet known; the metabolic syndrome is a significant risk factor associated with the occurrence of high blood pressure. It has been noted that the occurrence of high blood pressure coincides with metabolic syndromes, which predisposes the patient to high cardiovascular risks (Fitzpatrick & Kazer, 2012).
Extensive research is required to develop a fundamental empirical knowledge which can be used to synthesize the best empirical evidence from research required in practice. This evidence from research can be synthesized to come up with policies, protocols, standards, or guidelines, which will dictate the implementation of various nursing interventions in relation to hypertension. For instance, in the United States, a federal guideline was designed for the control and prevention of hypertension referred to as “The Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure: The JNC Report.” This regulation offers direction on the management of hypertension by all registered nurses. For instance, the regulations encompass the classification and categorization of blood pressure levels such as hypertension stage 1 and 2, prehypertension, and normal stages; and the significant risk factors associated with cardiovascular diseases (Burns, Grove, Bristol & Sutherland, 2010).
Hypertension is described as a condition in which the blood vessels register a persistent rise in blood pressure. High levels of blood pressure or hypertension can cause severe damages to other organs and also lead to the development of cardiovascular diseases. These diseases may include heart attack, aneurysm, stroke and heart failures, and renal failures. This condition can be mitigated or managed medically or through changing the patient’s lifestyle, or through a combination of both approaches. Some of the significant lifestyle changes that a patient has to adopt are reducing their body weight, taking of balanced diets, decreasing the intake of sodium, engaging in regular exercise, and minimizing the consumption of alcohol.
Burns, N., Grove, S. K., Bristol, T. J., & Sutherland, S. (2010). Understanding Nursing Research + User’s Guide + Access Code: Building an Evidence-based Practice, Nursing Research Online. New York: W B Saunders Co.
Fitzpatrick, J. J., & Kazer, M. W. (2012). Encyclopedia of nursing research. New York: Springer Pub.
MedlinePlus. (2013). Hypertension. Web.