What is the current situation of hypertension?

   

     Hypertension is affecting one quarter adults in the UK(PHE, 2014), and one third of adults in the USA (AHA&ASA, 2015). Primary hypertension is an age-related disease. Half of the population who are over 65 years old have hypertension, and in the UK, around 12% of all visits to the GP are for hypertension-related conditions (PHE, 2014). Hypertension can increase the risk of and lead to a range of health problems such as strokes, heart attack, kidney failure and premature death. Therefore, it is the top public health concern. However, most individuals do not pay enough attention to it until it is too late.

 

    Antihypertensive drug therapy is currently the mainstay in hypertension management, and each year, one billion pounds worth of antihypertensive drugs is consumed in the UK alone (NICE, 2011). Nevertheless, the situation of poorly controlled hypertension is still prevailing (NICE, 2014). Hypertensive individuals, once started on medication, are likely to carry these on for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, only 54% of patients respond well to medication, and 97% of patients treated with antihypertensive medication suffer from drug-induced adverse effects. Worryingly, drug intervention did not reduce hypertension -related mortality in elder patients compared with those who were not treated with drugs (NICE, 2011). This raises the big question:  do we understand and treat the primary hypertension correctly?

 

     The currently dominant theory believes that primary hypertension is mainly caused by blood vessel ‘hardening’, which is thought to be caused by vascular sclerosis. Cholesterol was blamed to be responsible for vascular sclerosis. However, it was found that red laser can reduce blood viscosity and lower blood pressures, which can replace drug to treat primary hypertension. That suggests what we have believed about primary hypertension is very incomplete or wrong. Why? This question will be explained in other qustions and answers to help patients to understand how laser blood therapy can revolutionize antihypertensive drug-based therapy for primary hypertension.

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