Studies Conducted On High Blood Pressure And Covid
A research letter was published in the American Heart Associationâs Circulation journal on December 6, 2021. The letter, titled, Rise in Blood Pressure Observed Among US Adults During the COVID-19 Pandemic, revealed the findings of a Cleveland Clinic and Quest Diagnosis study. This study looked into how recent events could have caused slight increases in blood pressure among participants in various employee wellness programs across the country.
According to the study, there were no significant differences in blood pressure between 2019 and January to March of 2020. Blood pressure levels increased significantly from April to December of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. The changes in systolic blood pressure ranged from 1.10 to 2.50 millimeters of mercury and from 0.14 to 0.53 mmHg in diastolic blood pressure.
These rises were observed in men and women of all ages and races. On the other hand, women experienced noticeable overall spikes in blood pressure, while older people experienced changes in systolic numbers. Some of the younger participants saw changes in their diastolic numbers as well.
How Is High Blood Pressure Treated
Your healthcare provider will create a treatment plan for you. Your treatment plan will be based on the results of your tests, your physical examination, and on your individual needs.
Making healthy lifestyle choices is an important part of treatment. It can help bring high blood pressure under control. This may include losing extra weight, eating meals with less fat and salt, limiting alcohol to no more than two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for woman, and starting a regular exercise program approved by your healthcare provider. If you are a smoker, your healthcare provider will advise you to stop. Smoking increases your risk of complications such as heart attacks or strokes.
Medicines may also be needed to get your blood pressure under control. There are many effective medicines for high blood pressure. Sometimes a combination of different medicines may be needed. These medicines should be taken as instructed, even if you are feeling fine. This is because high blood pressure is damaging even when it causes no symptoms.
Why Does Hypertension Matter
If you are in this 130/80 range, reducing your blood pressure can help protect you from heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, eye disease, and even cognitive decline. The goal of the new guidelines is to encourage you to treat your high blood pressure seriously and to take action to bring it down, primarily using lifestyle interventions. “It is well documented that lifestyle changes can lower blood pressure as much as pills can, and sometimes even more,” says Dr. Fisher.
Making those changes can be challenging. More than one woman has woken up in the morning committed to healthy eating only to be derailed by a plate of cookies on a table in the office or a dinner out with friends.
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Easy And Helpful Things To Do Every Day:
A pressure of 120/80 mm Hg, is considered normal. However, there is a range that doctors consider acceptable. Outside of this range, either too high or too low, they will want to monitor and possibly treat in some fashion. When using a home blood pressure machine, however, it is important to note that not all machines are created equally, therefore some are more accurate than others.
Eat Garlic Or Take Garlic Extract Supplements
Fresh garlic or garlic extract are both widely used to lower blood pressure.
A meta-analysis found that for people with high blood pressure, garlic supplements reduced their systolic blood pressure by up to about 5 mm Hg and reduced their diastolic blood pressure as much as 2.5 mm Hg .
According to a 2009 clinical study, a time-release garlic extract preparation may have a greater effect on blood pressure than regular garlic powder tablets .
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Further Control Of Blood Pressure
Other factors that can affect long-term regulation of blood pressure are natriuretic peptides. These include:
- Atrial natriuretic peptide is synthesised and stored in cardiac myocytes. It is released when the atria are stretched and indicates high blood pressure.
- ANP acts to promote sodium excretion. It dilates the afferent arteriole of the glomerulus, increasing the glomerular filtration rate . Moreover, ANP inhibits sodium reabsorption along the nephron. Conversely, ANP secretion is low when blood pressure is low.
- Prostaglandins act as local vasodilators to increase GFR and reduce sodium reabsorption. Moreover, they act to prevent excessive vasoconstriction triggered by the RAAS and sympathetic nervous system.
Small Changes Can Make A Big Difference In Your Blood Pressure Numbers
If you suddenly find yourself with high blood pressure under the new guidelines from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, you might be wondering what to do. The guidelines lowered the definition for high blood pressure to 130/80 from 140/90 millimeters of mercury , meaning more people now meet the criteria for stage 1 hypertension.
While you shouldn’t shrug off the change, there’s also no need to panic. “Obviously, nothing happened overnight inside a woman’s body or to her health with the release of the guidelines,” says Dr. Naomi Fisher, director of hypertension service and hypertension innovation at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Hypertension, and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.
The change, however, should spur you to take your blood pressure seriously. “These guidelines have been long anticipated and are very welcome by most hypertension experts. They may seem drastic, but in putting the knowledge we’ve gained from large trials into clinical practice, they will help thousands of people,” says Dr. Fisher.
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High Blood Pressure: Prevention Treatment And Research
We all have blood pressure. This simply refers to the way blood pushes against the walls of your arteries as your heart pumps. However, one in three American adults have a potentially dangerous condition known as high blood pressure, also called hypertension. For those with high blood pressure, blood moves more forcefully through the arteries than it should.
Its normal for blood pressure to increase when you exercise or are under stress. But when the pressure is too high even when youre at rest, and stays too high for too long, it can stretch and damage your arteries. The resulting health problems from high blood pressure can include heart disease, heart failure, stroke, kidney damage, vision loss, and memory loss and cognitive decline.
Reduce Your Sodium Intake
Itâs a prime offender in raising blood pressure. The American Heart Association recommends that people with hypertension keep it under 1,500 milligrams a day. Check your food labels to see how much youâre getting. If you cut back gradually, youâre less likely to notice the difference. Limiting sodium to just 2,400 milligrams per day can lower your number 2 to 8 points.
One way to cut back is to prepare your food at home. Seventy-five percent of your sodium intake comes from eating out and packaged foods. Use more spices for flavor instead of salt. Eating more potassium helps move sodium out of your body. A small effort can bring blood pressure down as much as two to eight points.
Ways to cut out sneaky salt and add healthy flavor:
- Read labels. Look for “salt,” “sodium,” “sea salt,” and “kosher salt.”
- Rinse salty canned food such as beans or tuna before using it.
- Substitute herbs and spices for sodium and salt when cooking.
- Avoid instant or flavored side dishes, which usually have a lot of added sodium. Instead, try cooking plain rice, pasta, or grains without adding salt. You can add other flavorings or a bit of salt when you serve them.
- Look for “low sodium” on food labels.
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Limit Your Alcohol Intake
Regularly drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure over time.
Staying within the recommended levels is the best way to reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure:
- men and women are advised not to regularly drink more than 14 units a week
- spread your drinking over 3 days or more if you drink as much as 14 units a week
How To Lower Blood Pressure Naturally
The term lifestyle changes implies you will need to change your habits to bring your blood pressure down. Broadly speaking, these modifications are natural non-pharmaceutical ways of lowering blood pressure. Six methods have been proven effective in clinical studies, and two others are recommended:
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What Is High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is when the force of the blood pushing on the blood vessel walls is too high. When someone has high blood pressure:
- The heart has to pump harder.
- The arteries are under greater strain as they carry blood.
First Why Is Your Blood Pressure High
Its natural to experience short-term spikes in blood pressure, like during exercise or after a cup of coffee. But over time, if your heart consistently pumps out more blood than usual or your blood vessels become stiffer, your blood pressure can stay high, which may lead to hypertension. Many things can cause this to happen, including eating too much salt, being overweight, or even taking certain medications that can cause high blood pressure as a side effect.
You might know that a blood pressure reading has two numbers . The American Heart Association describes normal blood pressure as a first number of 120 or less and a second number of 80 or less.
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What Can I Do If I Find Out My Blood Pressure Is Dangerously High
Normally, high blood pressure, sometimes called the silent killer, has few symptoms. But sometimes, a patient may be prompted to check their blood pressure because of troubling symptoms like headache, chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, and loss of balance. These may be signs of dangerously high blood pressure, also known as a hypertensive crisiswhen your first blood pressure number is greater than 180 or your second number is greater than 120.
In this scenario, do NOT try to lower your blood pressure on your own. A hypertensive crisis is an emergency situation that can end in death, so someone nearby should call 9-1-1 immediately. Emergency personnel will begin the process of lowering your blood pressure in the ambulance while on the way to the hospital. Even then, they will follow guidelines on how quickly they can safely lower your blood pressure and will monitor your blood pressure closely.
Decrease Your Salt Intake
Salt is the enemy of high blood pressure, says Dr. Desai. When you eat too much salt, it increases the amount of fluid that enters the bloodstream and arteries from the surrounding tissue, which raises the pressure in the arteries.
While you may not have to remove salt from your diet completely, avoid foods very high in salt like chips, french fries, salted nuts, soups, store-bought salad dressings, processed foods and cheese.
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Quit Smoking And Limit Your Alcohol Intake
Not smoking has been shown to reduce blood pressure and the risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke. The benefits of quitting smoking start immediately.
Drinking more than 1 standard drink per day for women, and 2 for men, increases the risk of developing high blood pressure. You can read more about how alcohol affects your health here.
How To Maintain Healthy Blood Pressure
When is the last time you had your blood pressure checked? What was the reading? More importantly, did you know what the reading meant? Unless there is something glaringly wrong with your blood pressure reading , practitioners wont say anything about your reading when they take it. Theyll just recite the numbers and press on. But its very important to know what a healthy reading is.
Just how important? Consider that one in three Americans has high blood pressure. That is quite a sobering statistic. Many of these people are not even aware that they are hypertensive. High blood pressure puts you at risk for serious complications, including heart disease and stroke. If you want to prevent these deadly diseases, you need to keep your blood pressure under control.
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Variations In Blood Pressure
Your blood pressure changes to meet your bodys needs. If a reading is high, your doctor may measure your blood pressure again on several separate occasions to confirm the level.
Your doctor may also recommend that you measure your blood pressure at home or have a 24-hour recording with a monitoring device.
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of High Blood Pressure
Most of the time high blood pressure doesn’t cause symptoms. In rare cases, severe high blood pressure can cause headaches, blurry vision, dizziness, nosebleeds, a fluttering or racing heartbeat, and nausea.
If your child has high blood pressure and gets any of these symptoms, get medical care right away.
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Ways To Lower High Blood Pressure Immediately
The encouraging data on high blood pressure , is that you can lower your elevated levels through a number of simple everyday lifestyle changes. These adjustments can reduce your measurement numbers and cut risks without the need for medications. We’ll discuss nine effective measures on the following slides.
Avoid Heavy Alcohol Drinking
Drinking too much alcohol has been associated with high blood pressure. Heavy drinking also contributes to stroke. The CDC recommends that men drink two or fewer drinks per day. Women are recommended to drink one or fewer alcoholic beverages per day.
Alcoholism is a disease that is difficult to treat on your own. If you find it difficult to control your drinking, many people have successfully limited or quit drinking through counseling and drug treatment. You can reach the national substance abuse hotline anytime at: 1-800-662-HELP .
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Maintain A Healthy Weight
If you are overweight, even a modest reduction in weight can reduce blood pressure. For example, losing 5 kilograms has been shown to reduce systolic blood pressure by around 7mmHg.
- Keep your body mass index in the healthy weight range.
- Your waist circumference should be less than 94 centimetres for men, less than 90cm for Asian men, and less than 80cm for women.
How Can I Lower My Blood Pressure
High blood pressure can be treated through lifestyle changes and medicines. Everyone with high blood pressure, regardless of whether theyre on medication, should follow the lifestyle recommendations . Some people will find lifestyle improvements mean they dont need blood pressure medicines or they can take a lower dosage.
These are the Australian recommendations for lifestyle changes to lower blood pressure. If you are an older Australian or have a chronic condition , your doctor will tell you which lifestyle changes are suitable for you.
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Natural Ways With Potential
If you do an Internet search, youll find dozens of other natural ways to lower blood pressure. They may be effective, but the evidence is limited or questionable.
Take stress reduction, for example. In 2017, the American Heart Association issued a scientific statement on the role of meditation in cardiovascular riskreduction. The AHA determined the concept was plausible, but the studies included too few subjects and used different endpoints, which made drawing conclusions impossible.
Some studies showed significant benefit, and others showed none. There simply wasnt enough data to say that meditation consistently lowers blood pressure, says Dr. Laffin. More likely, anything that relaxes you decreases blood pressure temporarily, but isnt a solution for people with sustained hypertension.
The same issue applies to various foods, spices, herbs and vitamins. You will probably find a study or two on each that says it lowers blood pressure, but these have never been robustly studied, he says.
If you are serious about using natural ways to lower blood pressure, choose one or more methods that have stood the test of time.
This article originally appeared in Cleveland Clinic Heart Advisor.
Easy Things You Can Do To Lower Your Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is dangerous. It can lead to many health problems, including heart attack, stroke, heart failure, angina, coronary artery disease, peripheral artery disease, kidney disease, vision loss, sexual dysfunction and more.
Fortunately, high blood pressure can often be prevented or controlled.
Here are some easy things you can do to lower your blood pressure or help prevent high blood pressure in the first place.
Set small, easily attainable goals, and when you reach them, set bigger ones. Step by step, you will take control of your health and your blood pressure.
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