DRG Category: 304
Mean LOS: 2.8 days
Description MEDICAL: Hypertension without Major CC
Hypertension is a persistent or intermittent elevation of systolic arterial blood pressure above 140 mm Hg or diastolic pressure above 90 mm Hg. Normal blood pressure is considered a systolic pressure lower than 120 mm Hg and a diastolic pressure lower than 80 mm Hg. Prehypertension is considered a systolic pressure of 120 to 139 mm Hg and a diastolic pressure of 80 to 89 mm Hg. Stage 1 hypertension is considered a systolic pressure of 140 to 159 mm Hg and a diastolic pressure of 90 to 99 mm Hg. Stage 2 hypertension is considered a systolic pressure of more than 160 mm Hg and a diastolic pressure equal to or more than 100 mm Hg.
Over 50 million Americans have hypertension, which results in significant economic and personal costs, including disability and an increased mortality rate. There has been a growing awareness of the long-term health consequences of hypertension in the last four decades. Since 1960, the awareness of hypertension has increased from 53% to almost 90%.
Hypertension is classified by three types: Primary (essential) accounts for over 90% of cases and is often referred to as idiopathic because the underlying cause is not known. This type has an insidious onset with few, if any, symptoms, so it is often not recognized until complications have occurred. Secondary hypertension results from a number of conditions that impair blood pressure regulation, and this type accounts for only 5% to 8% of all cases of hypertension. A severe or accelerating form of hypertension, malignant hypertension, results from either type and can cause blood pressures as high as 240/150 mm Hg, possibly leading to coma and death.
Untreated, hypertension can cause major complications. It contributes to the development of atherosclerosis and increases the workload of the heart, thereby reducing perfusion to major organs and possibly resulting in transient ischemic attacks, strokes, myocardial infarction, left ventricular hypertrophy, congestive heart failure, and renal failure. Damage to small arteries in the eye can lead to blindness.