Arterial hypertension is defined as systolic blood pressure over 140 mmHg and/or diastolic blood pressure over 90 mmHg. The condition affects over 50% of Polish people. It is classified as either primary, constituting >90% of cases and caused by various genetic or environmental factors, or secondary – of known aetiology. Secondary arterial hypertension may be caused by renal disease, stress, endocrinological disorders and nervous system disorders. Appropriate control and treatment of arterial hypertension are of great importance, as the condition may lead to various serious complications, including atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, cerebral stroke, renal diseases, vision disorders and even loss of sight.
Orthostatic hypotension is diagnosed in a 3-minute tilt trial demonstrating a reduction of systolic blood pressure by over 20 mmHg, of diastolic blood pressure by over 10 mmHg or a drop in systolic blood pressure below 90 mmHg. The condition is most commonly caused by diuretics and vasodilating drugs, and by alcohol. Idiopathic orthostatic hypotension is rare.
Arrhythmia is a cardiac rhythm disorder caused by the abnormal conduction of impulses in the stimulogenic-conducting system, or the existence of additional beats. Atrial flutter and fibrillation, and ventricular fibrillation are some types of arrhythmia. They may lead to serious consequences, such as cerebral stroke or sudden cardiac death. Arrhythmia may be caused by hyper- or hypothyroidism, a previous myocardial infarction, electrolyte imbalance and the drugs which are used.