Healthy and Unhealthy Blood Vessel : Some blood pressure medications work by increasing vessel dilation and blood flow. Blood pressure medications are grouped into several classes. Each class works in a different way to lower blood pressure. One example is the ACE inhibitors (e.g., enalapril, lisinopril, ramipril). This class of medications works by blocking the body's production of a substance that tightens the blood vessels. As a result, the blood vessels become more relaxed, and the pressure inside the vessels decreases. Angiotensin II receptor blockers (e.g., candesartan, losartan, valsartan) is another group that works in a similar way as the ACE inhibitors. But instead of blocking the production of the blood vessel-tightening substance, it stops the substance from working on the blood vessels. This causes the blood vessels to relax and the blood pressure to decrease.
Blood pressure (BP) is the pressure exerted by circulating blood upon the walls of blood vessels and is one of the principal vital signs. When used without further specification, "blood pressure" usually refers to the arterial pressure of the systemic circulation, usually measured at a person's upper arm. A person’s blood pressure is usually expressed in terms of the systolic (maximum) pressure over diastolic (minimum) pressure and is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). Normal resting blood pressure for an adult is approximately 120/80 mm Hg.
Blood pressure varies depending on situation, activity, and disease states, and is regulated by the nervous and endocrine systems. Blood pressure that is pathologically low is called hypotension, and pressure that is pathologically high is hypertension. Both have many causes and can range from mild to severe, with both acute and chronic forms. Chronic hypertension is a risk factor for many diseases, including kidney failure, heart attack, and stroke. Chronic hypertension is more common than chronic hypotension in Western countries. Chronic hypertension often goes undetected because of infrequent monitoring and the absence of obvious symptoms.
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