Arterial hypertension: eight facts and myths

As in case of numerous other illnesses, arterial hypertension has given rise to a number of myths. The entanglement of information does not always allow discerning between real and mythical issues. Regrettably, this frequently results in vital matters being underestimated, or in the application of rules based on fictitious beliefs. Jointly with our ‘Zdrowa ONA’ […]

As in case of numerous other illnesses, arterial hypertension has given rise to a number of myths. The entanglement of information does not always allow discerning between real and mythical issues. Regrettably, this frequently results in vital matters being underestimated, or in the application of rules based on fictitious beliefs. Jointly with our ‘Zdrowa ONA’ (‘Healthy HER’) programme expert, we are about to dispel most popular arterial hypertension-related doubts. Arterial hypertension […]

As in case of numerous other illnesses, arterial hypertension has given rise to a number of myths. The tangle of information does not always allow discerning between real and mythical issues. Regrettably, this frequently results in vital matters being underestimated, or in the application of rules based on fictitious beliefs. Jointly with our Zdrowa ONA (Healthy HER) programme expert, we are about to dispel most popular arterial hypertension-related doubts.

Arterial hypertension is not dangerous. MYTH!

This myth is most frequently repeated by patients, and by Poles in general. It is particularly popular with individuals who learned of their own hypertension by chance, e.g. during a routine check-up with their general physician. This never ceases to amaze me, as arterial hypertension is the most frequent cause of stroke and myocardial infarction, says Professor Andrzej Januszewicz MD, hypertension specialist and Zdrowa ONA programme expert.

There is no need to treat arterial hypertension if there is otherwise nothing wrong. MYTH!

Most of us are prone to believing that if a thing does not hurt, cause issues or make everyday life difficult, it is either benign or non-existent. Why, then, change the lifestyle or take pills, if we feel okay? Yet we do not realise that while arterial hypertension develops on the sly for many years, it can already then cause damage to the heart, kidneys, brain, or arteries. Once we begin feeling uncomfortable, this means that the issue is serious – and, often as not, irreversible.

Arterial hypertension can be hereditary. FACT!

We often wonder if we are about to suffer of arterial hypertension if our grandmother or father did. Indeed, children whose parent or parents suffer of hypertension are more likely to contract it as well. While obviously this does not need to be so, family history of hypertension should alert us to checking blood pressure more frequently and choosing a healthy lifestyle.

Arterial hypertension is an illness of the elderly. MYTH!

All group ages are susceptible to the disease; importantly, children and young people may suffer of arterial hypertension as well. Lifestyle and nutrition habits have resulted in the illness developing at an increasingly early age. While is certainly true that the elderly are more frequently diagnosed with arterial hypertension, this is due to the fact that they see their physicians much more regularly because of their various medical issues; the young have a tendency of avoiding doctors’ offices.

Arterial hypertension only affects the obese. MYTH!

Statistics obviously show that the majority of arterial hypertension patients also suffer of obesity. That, however, does not mean that we are free of any risk of arterial hypertension if not obese. There are a number of factors conducive to the illness, lifestyle being one of them. Poor diet, a shortage of physical exercise, lack of sleep or stress may all cause high blood pressure – while the repetitiveness of such circumstances may well contribute to arterial (so-called secondary) hypertension.

Persons with arterial hypertension have to be treated until the end of their lives. FACT!

Regrettably, in case of most patients arterial hypertension cannot be “cured” efficiently, their arterial hypertension medicine then tucked away for good. Effective treatment and hypertension returning to regular levels require regular pharmacological therapy, usually throughout the patient’s life. Yet all action taken may prevent undesired effects. In early stages, all it takes is a change in diet, physical exercise, and loss of body mass. Should it be required, anti-hypertension drugs can be added to the mix. Since taking several tablets a day can be tedious, multi-ingredient preparations (containing a number of substances required in a single pill) may be a solution as well.

Women who suffered of hypertension when pregnant are more prone to future hypertension. FACT!

Arterial hypertension during pregnancy may be diagnosed even in one in every 10 women, especially in primiparas. Medicine and regular blood pressure checks are the basic ways of managing the issue. While hypertension may disappear shortly after birth, research shows that women diagnosed with hypertension when pregnant may also be suffering of it as a chronic illness. Such women are also at greater risk of future cardiovascular complications, says Professor Andrzej Januszewicz.

Persons with hypertension cannot drink coffee. MYTH!

Since we tend to consider coffee a drug or stimulant, we often conclude that like alcohol or cigarettes, it exacerbates arterial hypertension. Yet we should distinguish between two groups of stimulants. While alcohol and cigarettes truly exacerbate the disease, they are also conducive to increased hypertension and the development of cardiovascular conditions. Coffee or strong tea usually have no effect on arterial hypertension; and there is no proof that they may be a factor in the illness progressing.

Podobał Ci się ten artykuł? Podziel się ze znajomymi

Inne tematy


Polecamy również


Female problems – what is worth knowing
Many women consider gynaecological issues – those involving the urogenital system – a taboo. They are often ashamed to visit a physician, waiting for the problem to go away by...
Preventive checkups for men
Despite universal media access and numerous health-promoting preventive screening campaigns, it turns out that many men continue to avoid visiting a specialist, resigning themselves to a doctor’s office only when...
Role of the family and friends in treating arterial hypertension
Nearly 60% of arterial hypertension patients admit that avoiding stress is one of the doctor’s orders they find most difficult to adhere to; just under 50% patients have body mass...