How Can You Reduce Your Risk Of High Blood Pressure
Fortunately, there are certain things you can do to help reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure. These include the following:
- Eat right: A healthy diet is an important step in keeping your blood pressure normal. The DASH diet emphasizes adding fruits, vegetables and whole grains to your diet while reducing the amount of sodium. Since its rich in fruits and vegetables, which are naturally lower in sodium than many other foods, the DASH diet makes it easier to eat less salt and sodium.
- Keep a healthy weight: Going hand-in-hand with a proper diet is keeping a healthy weight. Since being overweight increases your blood pressure, losing excess weight with diet and exercise will help lower your blood pressure to healthier levels.
- Cut down on salt: The recommendation for salt in your diet is to have less than 1,500 milligrams of sodium a day . To prevent hypertension, you should keep your salt intake below this level. Don’t forget that most restaurant foods and many processed and frozen foods contain high levels of salt. Use herbs and spices that do not contain salt in recipes to flavor your food do not add salt at the table.
- Keep active: Even simple physical activities, such as walking, can lower your blood pressure .
- Drinkalcoholin moderation: Having more than one drink a day and two drinks a day can raise blood pressure.
What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor
- What is my personal risk of hypertensive heart disease?
- Is there anything else I can do to reduce my risk of hypertensive heart disease?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
High blood pressure is a very common condition, but some people dont even know they have it. If you have been told you have high blood pressure, its very important to take the medicines your provider ordered for you. Keeping your blood pressure under control is a key factor in preventing hypertensive heart disease. You have the power to make healthy changes in your life for a healthy heart.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 09/21/2021.
Living With High Blood Pressure
Controlling your high blood pressure is a lifelong commitment. You will always need to monitor your weight, make healthy food choices, exercise, learn to cope with stress, avoid smoking, and limit your alcohol intake. If you need medicine to control your high blood pressure, you will likely need it all your life.
Additionally, you will need to get used to regular blood pressure checks. Your doctor may want you to come to the office regularly. Or you may be asked to check your blood pressure at home and keep track of your numbers for your doctor. Some pharmacies and retail clinics have blood pressure machines on site. You can buy your own, automated arm blood pressure cuff for use at home. Your doctor may want you to check your blood pressure several times a day. Another option is to use an ambulatory blood pressure monitor.
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What Medications Are Used To Treat High Blood Pressure
Four classes of high blood pressure medications are considered first line when starting treatment. Sometimes other medications are coupled with these first-line drugs to better control your high blood pressure. First-line, pressure-lowering medications are:
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors block the production of the angiotensin II hormone, which the body naturally uses to control blood pressure. When angiotensin II is blocked, your blood vessels dont narrow. Examples: lisinopril , enalapril or captopril.
- Angiotensin II receptor blockers block this same hormone from binding with receptors in the blood vessels. ARBs work the same way as ACE inhibitors to keep blood vessels from narrowing. Examples: metoprolol , valsartan or losartan.
- Calcium channel blockers prevent calcium from entering the muscle cells of your heart and blood vessels, allowing these vessels to relax. Examples: amlodipine , nifedipine , diltiazem .
- Diuretics flush excess sodium from your body, reducing the amount of fluid in your blood. Diuretics are often used with other high blood pressure medicines, sometimes in one combined pill. Examples: indapamide, hydrochlorothiazide or chlorothiazide.
What Should I Do If I Have High Blood Pressure
If your healthcare provider has diagnosed you with high blood pressure, they will talk with you about your recommended blood pressure target or goal. They may suggest that you:
- Check your blood pressure regularly with a home blood pressure monitor. These are automated electronic monitors and are available at most pharmacies or online.
- Quit smoking and/or using tobacco products.
- Work on controlling anger and managing stress.
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Stroke And Brain Problems
High blood pressure can cause the arteries that supply blood and oxygen to the brain to burst or be blocked, causing a stroke. Brain cells die during a stroke because they do not get enough oxygen. Stroke can cause serious disabilities in speech, movement, and other basic activities. A stroke can also kill you.
Having high blood pressure, especially in midlife, is linked to having poorer cognitive function and dementia later in life. Learn more about the link between high blood pressure and dementia from the National Institutes of Healths Mind Your Risks®external icon campaign.
How Is Blood Pressure Measured
Blood pressure is measured in two ways:
On blood pressure charts, the top number refers to the systolic pressure, while the number underneath refers to the diastolic pressure.
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What Are The Heart Disease Risk Factors That I Cannot Change
- Age. Your risk of heart disease increases as you get older. Men age 45 and older and women age 55 and older have a greater risk.
- Sex. Some risk factors may affect heart disease risk differently in women than in men. For example, estrogen provides women some protection against heart disease, but diabetes raises the risk of heart disease more in women than in men.
- Race or ethnicity. Certain groups have higher risks than others. African Americans are more likely than whites to have heart disease, while Hispanic Americans are less likely to have it. Some Asian groups, such as East Asians, have lower rates, but South Asians have higher rates.
- Family history. You have a greater risk if you have a close family member who had heart disease at an early age.
Damage To Your Arteries
High blood pressure can lead to your arteries becoming clogged up, reducing the blood flow around your body and back to your heart.
Your arteries are the large blood vessels that carry blood from your heart around your body, carrying oxygen and nutrients to your organs and muscles. Your arteries have a role in controlling your blood pressure, and your blood pressure can affect your arteries.
How do your arteries control your blood pressure?Your blood vessels contain muscles to help squeeze the blood around your body. These muscles respond to hormones, the flow of blood and signals from your brain, telling them to squeeze or relax.
- When the muscles squeeze, this narrows the blood vessels and your blood pressure will be higher.
- When the muscles relax, your blood vessels widen and your blood pressure will be lower.
How can high blood pressure damage your arteries?
High blood pressure can damage your blood vessel walls. Fats in the blood can collect in these damaged areas, clogging up the arteries and leading to atherosclerosis where the arteries become narrow and stiff, reducing the blood flow around your body.
The fatty, damaged areas are prone to rupture, and blood clots can form over them. Bits of the blood clot can break off, known as a thrombus, and can become lodged in a blood vessel, completely cutting off the blood supply to part of the body, including the heart, brain or legs.
Cardiovascular diseases include:
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When You Have Diabetes You’re More At Risk Of Heart Disease This Is Also Called Cardiovascular Disease Or Coronary Disease And Can Lead To Heart Attacks And Strokes
Cardiovascular disease affects your circulation too. And poor circulation makes other diabetes complications worse like problems with your eyes and feet.
Thats why its even more important to take good care of your heart when you have diabetes. Were here to explain why diabetes increases your risk of heart problems, and how you can reduce this risk.
Every week diabetes causes 530 heart attacks and 680 strokes in the UK
High Blood Pressure Can Cause A Heart Attack It Makes Your Heart Work Harder And Could Lead To A Buildup Of Cholesterol And Plaque In Your Arteries Increasing The Risk Of Heart Attacks And Stroke
High blood pressure puts extra strain on the heart and arteries. Years of untreated high blood pressure and the strain it puts on artery walls creates places for cholesterol to build up and form hardened patches of plaque.
If the plaque ruptures, bits and pieces enter the bloodstream, where they can form blood clots.
High blood pressure rarely shows symptoms. Checking your numbers regularly is critical to avoiding long-term complications such as heart disease, congestive heart failure, stroke, impaired vision and kidney disease.
Life-threatening conditions caused by high blood pressure include:
- Heart attack: Over time, high blood pressure can damage the lining of your arteries. Fats in your bloodstream can collect along the damaged walls. Cholesterol and triglycerides combine to form plaque and cause atherosclerosis hardening and narrowing of the arteries. If the plaque breaks loose and causes a blood clots in the heart, thats a heart attack.
- Stroke: If the buildup sends clots into the brain, the result is a stroke.
- Heart failure: The extra workload on the heart can lead to an enlarged heart. That makes it harder for your heart to meet your bodys need for oxygen and nutrients.
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What Are The Three Early Signs Of A Heart Attack
Common heart attack signs and symptoms include:
- Pressure, tightness, pain, or a squeezing or aching sensation in your chest or arms that may spread to your neck, jaw or back.
- Nausea, indigestion, heartburn or abdominal pain.
- Shortness of breath.
If your blood pressure is extremely high, there may be certain symptoms to look out for, including:
- Severe headache.
- Pounding in your chest, neck, or ears.
Coarctation Of The Aorta
Now, coarctation of the aorta is actually a congenital heart defect, and it’s one of the leading causes of hypertension in children. When you have coarctation of the aorta, you have a narrowing in a part of the aorta, which is that huge artery, it’s the body’s largest artery, and it comes out of the heart, out of that left ventricle.
When you have this narrowing, you can get symptoms such as hypertension. Specifically, you will have hypertension in the upper body. You might have hypertension in the arms, or headaches from high pressure in the brain. You can also get nosebleeds if you have coarctation of the aorta. And if someone checks your pulse, you might have bounding, very strong pulses, all this in the upper extremities, and then your radial pulses. But in the lower body, you may have diminished or absent pulses.
You also may have claudication or cramping of the legs and relatively thin or decreased muscle in the lower body. So in coarctation of the aorta, you have hypertension, but mainly that hypertension is in the upper body.
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Can I Lower My Risk Of Heart Disease And Heart Attacks
Healthy lifestyleYour lifestyle plays a major role in high blood pressure, atherosclerosis and heart disease, and making will lower your risk. Stopping smoking is particularly important, as well as cutting down on alcohol, losing weight if you need to, being active and eating a which is low in salt and saturated fat.
Treatment for other health problemsYou might be offered statins if your blood cholesterol is raised. If you have any other medical conditions that can affect the heart and blood vessels, such as diabetes, its important to keep these under control, which might involve medications.
What else raises the risk of heart disease
There are a number of risk factors which can mean youre more likely to develop atherosclerosis and heart disease. These are:
- age atherosclerosis and diseases of the heart become more common with age
- being male heart disease is more common in men than women
- family history of cardiovascular disease including heart attacks and stroke
- other health problems including and , as these can damage the blood vessels.
While these cant be changed, making changes to your lifestyle and getting other health problems under control will make a big difference.
The British Heart Foundation has information on different heart conditions, the treatments available, living with a heart condition and heart-healthy recipes.
An important new study has shown that DOACs are better at preventing stroke, safer, and more cost effective than Warfarin.
Is There A Link Between Hbp And Heart Failure
Heart failure, a condition where your heart is unable to provide enough blood to the body, can take years to develop inside your body. The narrowing and blocking of blood vessels caused by high blood pressure increases your risk of developing heart failure.
- High blood pressure adds to your hearts workload: Narrowed arteries that are less elastic make it more difficult for the blood to travel smoothly and easily throughout your body causing your heart to work harder.
- Over time, a higher workload leads to an enlarged heart: In order to cope with increased demands, the heart thickens and becomes larger. While it is still able to pump blood, it becomes less efficient. The larger the heart becomes, the harder it works to meet your body’s demands for oxygen and nutrients.
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Is A Stroke Caused By High Blood Pressure
high blood pressurestrokebrain’s bloodcausingHigh blood pressurecause bloodbrainbloodcausingstrokeLimit the salt shaker and these high sodium foods that increase blood pressure:
- Canned Beans. Canned beans can be loaded with sodium for preservation purposes.
- Premade Soups.
- Canned or Bottled Tomato Products.
- Packaged and Processed Meats.
How Can High Blood Pressure Affect Your Blood Vessels And Heart
High blood pressure can affect your arteries and your heart in a number of ways which are all interlinked.
It can damage your blood vessels, reducing the blood flow around your body and back to your heart. Your heart then has to work harder to pump blood and can become enlarged or weak and cant work as well as it should.
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Can Hbp Cause Kidney Failure
Your kidneys and your circulatory system depend on each other for good health. The kidneys help filter wastes and extra fluids from blood, and they use a lot of blood vessels to do so. When the blood vessels become damaged, the nephrons that filter your blood dont receive the oxygen and nutrients they need to function well. This is why high blood pressure is the second leading cause of kidney failure. Over time, uncontrolled high blood pressure can cause arteries around the kidneys to narrow, weaken or harden. These damaged arteries are not able to deliver enough blood to the kidney tissue.
What Causes High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure usually develops over time. It can happen because of unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as not getting enough regular physical activity. Certain health conditions, such as diabetes and having obesity, can also increase the risk for developing high blood pressure. High blood pressure can also happen during pregnancy.
You can manage your blood pressure to lower your risk for serious health problems that may affect your heart, brain, kidneys, and eyes.
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What Is High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is blood pressure that is higher than normal. Your blood pressure changes throughout the day based on your activities. Having blood pressure measures consistently above normal may result in a diagnosis of high blood pressure .
Your health care team can diagnose high blood pressure and make treatment decisions by reviewing your systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels and comparing them to levels found in certain guidelines.
The guidelines used to diagnose high blood pressure may differ from health care professional to health care professional:
- Some health care professionals diagnose patients with high blood pressure if their blood pressure is consistently 140/90 mm Hg or higher.2 This limit is based on a guideline released in 2003, as seen in the table below.
- Other health care professionals diagnose patients with high blood pressure if their blood pressure is consistently 130/80 mm Hg or higher.1 This limit is based on a guideline released in 2017, as seen in the table below.
|systolic: 130 mm Hg or higherdiastolic: 80 mm Hg or higher|
If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, talk with your health care team about your blood pressure levels and how these levels affect your treatment plan.
What Can I Expect If I Have Hypertensive Heart Disease
Hypertensive heart disease is a long-term disease that takes years to develop. Over time, people who have it are at a higher and higher risk of dying from a cardiovascular problem. The prognosis for people with hypertensive cardiovascular disease is different from person to person, depending on:
- What symptoms youre having.
- Whether you have cardiovascular disease or risk factors.
- Other medical conditions you have.
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