Hypertension is a condition characterized by an increase in the total vascular peripheral resistance with the consequent increase of systolic pressure to greater than 140 mmHg and diastolic pressure to greater than 90 mmHg. Hypertension is classified as primary (approximately 90% of cases) or secondary (approximately 10% of cases). Blood pressure, the force applied by the blood in all directions of a specific area, is the necessary force to maintain a stable flow of blood from the heart through the body and back to the heart. Since fluids move from a high pressure area to a low pressure area, pressure must differ at different points of the circulatory system. The pressure in any blood vessel of the body depends on the quantity of blood that it contains and on the size of the vessel. There are two control systems that regulate all body functions: the endocrine system and the autonomic nervous system.
La hipertensión arterial (HTA) consiste en el hallazgo en 2 o más oportunidades, de una presión arterial sistólica mayor o igual a 140 mm Hg y/o presión diastólica mayor o igual a 90 mm Hg. Se considera prehipertensión al hallazgo de valores de 120-139 mm Hg de presión sistólica y entre 80-89 mm Hg de diastólica. Esta enfermedad es un importante factor de riesgo de patología cardiovascular.