Non-pharmacological treatment of high blood pressure

Non-pharmacological treatment of high blood pressure has as its primary objective the reduction of cardiovascular risk factors

High blood pressure, non-pharmacological treatment

One of the most significant therapeutic achievements in recent years has certainly been to have shifted the focus of the treatment of hypertension from the “disease”, i.e. the relief of high blood press. values, to the “patient with h. blood pressure values” in whom the risk of cardiovascular events depends on the interaction between blood pressure values and the coexistence of other risk factors.

In the light of these considerations and for a classification of the patient aimed at a correct therapeutic choice, the guidelines suggest considering in the hypertensive patient not only the magnitude of the rise in blood pressure, but also the absence or presence of other risk determinants such as target organ damage and additional risk factors together with the coexistence of other clinical conditions.

The main goal of antihypertensive therapy in the hypertensive and uncomplicated adult (age 18-80) is to restore and maintain blood pressure values below the threshold level of 140/90 mmHg (the current goal of therapy in the hypertensive patient is to reduce total cardiovascular risk.

This requires an individual intervention that takes three aspects into consideration:

  • Lowering of blood pressure values
  • Correction of modifiable risk factors
  • Diagnosis and follow-up of associated clinical conditions

High blood pressure rarely presents itself as an isolated risk factor in relation to other factors of an atherogenic nature

It is associated with the latter, leading to a mutually reinforcing condition that increases the extent of subjective risk.

Cardiovascular risk factors are those characteristics which, when present, predict a greater likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease over time and they are differentiated into non-modifiable and modifiable factors.

Non-modifiable factors

  • age
  • sex
  • familiarity for premature cardiovascular events

 Modifiable factors:

  • high blood pressure
  • smoking
  • increased total and LDL cholesterol
  • decreased HDL cholesterol
  • cardiac hypertrophy
  • diabetes mellitus
  • obesity
  • sedentary lifestyle

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