High Blood Pressure

What is Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)?

Blood pressure that stays persistently above 140/90 mmHg is considered high blood pressure.

High blood pressure often causes no symptoms or immediate problems.

However, it should be treated seriously as it is a chronic medical condition and a risk factor for heart diseases (such as heart attack and heart failure), stroke and kidney failure. 

  • The heart of a person with high blood pressure needs to work extra hard to pump blood around the body, resulting in weakening of the heart over time. 
  • This increased pressure can also cause damage to the walls of arteries, resulting in blockage or splitting of the artery (haemorrhage). Both can cause a stroke. 

There are two types of high blood pressure: 

  • Essential (Primary) Hypertension - where the cause cannot be identified 
  • Secondary Hypertension - which is the result of an underlying cause, such as kidney diseases or medications.

High Blood Pressure in Singapore

According to the National Health Survey 2010 

  • One out of 3 aged 50 – 59 suffers from Hypertension. 
  • One out of 2 aged 60 – 69 suffers from Hypertension. 
  • The older you are, the higher the chance of developing Hypertension. This is especially so beyond age of 40. 
  • More males develop Hypertension as compared to females. 
  • Hypertension is more prevalent in Chinese, followed by Malays and Indians.

Who is likely to develop Hypertension? 

The cause of hypertension is unknown in most cases. In some cases however, hypertension may be due to kidney disease, narrowing of certain blood vessels or hormonal imbalance.

Certain risk factors increase the chance of developing hypertension.

You are at a higher risk if you:

  • are you obese
  • smoke 
  • have genetic factors 
  • lead a stressful lifestyle 
  • are age 40 and above 
  • lead a sedentary lifestyle 
  • have a diet high in salt 
  • have a family history of hypertension 
  • have a high intake of stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol 
  • suffer from disease conditions such as Diabetes, kidney problems, Cirrhosis, Cushing’s disease 
  • take medications such as steroids, oral contraceptives, and oestrogen 
  • use over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (nsaids), such as aspirin and ibuprofen for a long period of time, which can cause kidney damage and lead to further problems with high blood pressure