Blood pressure is the pressure exerted on blood vessels during contraction and relaxation of the heart. This pressure is usually described in terms of millimeters of mercury (mmHg). The pressure recorded during contraction of the heart is called "systolic blood pressure" (SBP), and the pressure recorded during relaxation of the heart is called "diastolic blood pressure" (DBP).
Hypertension is a condition in which the SBP is persistently higher than or equal to 140 mmHg, or DBP is persistently higher than or equal to 90 mmHg.
Hypertension is common in Hong Kong. The Population Health Survey 2014/2015 revealed that 27% of the population aged 15 and above has hypertension. The prevalence of hypertension increases with age, from 4.5 % for people aged 15-24 to 64.8% for people aged 65-84.
Untreated or uncontrolled hypertension can lead to complications like heart failure, coronary heart disease, stroke, renal failure, etc. Uncontrolled hypertension is a silent killer. Early diagnosis and proper treatment can effectively prevent or delay the complications.
Most patients with hypertension have no obvious symptoms. Adults are advised to have regular blood pressure measurement. 1
|Blood pressure categories||Blood pressure (mmHg)||Recommendations|
|Optimal||Lower than 120||Lower than 80||Recheck in 2 years
(Once a year for people aged over 75)
|Normal||120-129||80-84||Recheck in 1 year|
|High normal||130-139||85-89||Recheck in 6 months|
|Hypertension||Higher than or equal to 140||Higher than or equal to 90||Consult your family doctor as soon as possible for advice|
After obtaining the patient's medical history and performing a detailed physical examination, the doctor will arrange other investigations if required, such as blood tests, urine tests, electrocardiogram, chest X-ray examination and fundus examination to find out causes and complications of hypertension.
The management of hypertension depends on the commitment of the patient to participate proactively in self-management and adopting healthy lifestyle practices:
For more information on hypertension, please visit the websites "Hong Kong Reference Framework for Hypertension Care for Adults in Primary Care Settings 【Patient Version】" & "Hong Kong Reference Framework for Preventive Care for Older Adults in Primary Care Settings"(Traditional Chinese version only) or consult your family doctor.