Using The Sprint Study For New Guidelines
The studys findings come from a randomized trial of 1,167 participants.
Researchers gathered information from the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial . They included data from individuals who had experienced strokes, heart attacks, changes in kidney function, cognitive impairment, quality of life reduction, or who had died.
About 27% of them had a history of heart disease. The majority had three or more chronic health conditions.
The mean age of the participants was 84, with about 3% older than 90. More than half of those included were regularly taking five or more medications.
The average baseline systolic blood pressure of the participants was approximately 142 mmHg. The researchers randomly divided the participants into two equal groups, with one group receiving assistance in getting their systolic readings below 140 mmHg.
The researchers sought to determine if a more aggressive control of high blood pressure would benefit peoples health, lower their risk of heart disease events, cognitive decline, or death, or increase health risks in any way.
The scientists were also interested in seeing if cognitive or physical impairments would affect the benefits of any lower systolic measurement.
To these ends, the second group received what researchers considered intensive treatment to bring their systolic reading down below 120 mmHg.
The development of dementia was about the same in both groups.
What Do The Blood Pressure Numbers Mean
When blood pressure is measured, the result is given as two numbers, such as 120/80. The first number is the amount of force used when the heart beats . The second number is the pressure in the arteries between heart beats . Pressures are measured in millimeters of mercury . High blood pressure is defined as pressures above 140/90 for a period of time. Prehypertension is defined as a systolic pressure from 120139 millimeters of mercury or a diastolic pressure from 8089 mm Hg. Because blood pressure changes often, your health care provider will check it on several different days before deciding whether your blood pressure is too high. Blood pressure is considered high when it is elevated above 140/90 for a period of time. For people with chronic kidney disease, the recommended level is below 130/80.
Risks Of High Blood Pressure
If your blood pressure is too high, it puts extra strain on your blood vessels, heart and other organs, such as the brain, kidneys and eyes.
Persistent high blood pressure can increase your risk of a number of serious and potentially life-threatening health conditions, such as:
- have a relative with high blood pressure
- are of black African or black Caribbean descent
- live in a deprived area
Making healthy lifestyle changes can sometimes help reduce your chances of getting high blood pressure and help lower your blood pressure if it’s already high.
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The Name Of The Game: Prevention
So if rising blood pressure and aging don’t — or shouldn’t — go hand in hand, what should the millions of us who now have prehypertension do about it? The good news: we shouldn’t be looking for a new pill. “Unless you have diabetes or kidney disease, people with prehypertension don’t need to be on medication,” says Sheps.
That’s also the bad news. Preventing high blood pressure means lifestyle changes, which is usually harder than popping a pill. Number one on the blood pressure reduction hit parade: preventing or treating obesity. As our pants sizes get smaller, so do our blood pressure numbers. Of course, the opposite is true as well. With our nation on a supersizing binge and a growing percentage of adults and children becoming overweight or obese, it’s no surprise that rates of high blood pressure have skyrocketed as well.
Maintain A Healthy Weight
Being overweight is a risk factor for having high blood pressure, and your risk increases further if you are obese.
There are two ways to check if you are overweight:
- Body Mass Index – This is your weight in kilograms divided by your height in metres squared. In the UK, people with a BMI of between 25 to 30 are overweight, and those with an index above 30 are classed as obese. People with a BMI of 40 or more are morbidly obese.
- Waist size – Using a measuring tape place the tape round your waist between the bottom of your ribs and the top of your hip bone. The table below indicates how much your health might be at risk, your ethnicity should also be taken into account.
|Over 80 cm|
The best way to tackle obesity is by reducing the amount of calories that you eat, and taking regular exercise. Your GP can provide you with further information and advice on how you can do this.
More about having a healthy weight
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What Is Normal Blood Pressure
High blood pressure can damage your blood vessels, heart, lungs and kidneys. Keeping your blood pressure within the normal range is important. But whats normal? That depends on your age and other factors.
Blood Pressure Readings
Blood pressure is expressed in terms of two numbers. The top number is systolic blood pressure. This is the highest pressure and occurs when your heart actually beats. The second number is the diastolic. This reading shows blood pressure when your heart relaxes. Your blood pressure varies throughout the day. It is lower at night and rises shortly before you wake up. It peaks in the middle of the afternoon and then drops in the evening.
High and Low Blood Pressure
The generally accepted standard for normal blood pressure is 90/60 to less than120/80. If your blood pressure is consistently lower than 90/60, you have low blood pressure. Blood pressure between 120/80 and 140/90 is still considered normal. However, most doctors will recommend lifestyle changes if you are in that range. Above 140/90 is considered high blood pressure, or hypertension. Medications may be recommended for blood pressures in this range or above.
Aging, Sex and Blood Pressure
Factors That Affect Blood Pressure
Many things affect your blood pressure. These tend to cause increased readings:
The three S rule stress, smoking and sleep apnea increase blood pressure.
Genetics and family history high blood pressure and heart disease often run in families.
Whats Considered High Blood Pressure In Pregnant People
High blood pressure can also occur during pregnancy. According to the , about 8 percent of people develop some form of hypertension while pregnant.
- Normal blood pressure during pregnancy is less than 120 mm Hg systolic and less than 80 mm Hg diastolic.
- Readings higher than 140 mm Hg systolic or 90 mm Hg diastolic are considered high.
There are two main categories of high blood pressure in pregnancy:
- Chronic hypertension. This is when blood pressure is high before you become pregnant or when high blood pressure develops before 20 weeks of pregnancy.
- Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. These types of high blood pressure problems are specific to pregnant people and typically develop after 20 weeks of pregnancy. These blood pressure issues typically disappear after you give birth.
Your doctor may prescribe medications if you have high blood pressure during pregnancy.
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Preventing High Blood Pressure
To keep your blood pressure in the normal range, your daily habits are key. These things help:
Donât smoke. Among the many health problems that smoking causes, it raises your blood pressure.
Make physical activity a habit. Most experts recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity five or more times a week. Or you could do a harder activity for a shorter period of time per session.
Eat right. Read food labels to see how much sodium is in a serving. Check with your doctor to find out what your daily limit should be. Include a lot of vegetables and fruits, along with whatever else you choose to put on your plate.
Stick to a healthy weight. Extra pounds raise your blood pressure. If youâre not sure what a healthy weight would be for you, ask your doctor.
If you drink alcohol, limit it to no more than one drink a day if youâre a woman and up to two drinks a day if youâre a man.
Diagnosing High Or Low Blood Pressure
Only one of your numbers needs to be higher than it should be to be diagnosed with high blood pressure, and only one needs to be lower than it should be to be diagnosed with low blood pressure.
So if your top number is over 140 or the bottom number is over 90, you may be diagnosed with , regardless of the other number. If your top number is under 90 or your bottom number is under 60, you may be diagnosed with . Use the to see where your numbers sit.
If your top number is consistently higher than 140mmHg, but the bottom number is healthy – this is known as Isolated Systolic Hypertension. If the bottom number is consistently higher than 90mmHg but the top number is healthy – this is known as Isolated Diastolic Hypertension.
Making sure your readings arent a one-off
A single high reading doesnt necessarily mean you have high blood pressure, as many things can affect your blood pressure throughout the day, such as the temperature, when you last ate, and if youre feeling stressed.
Your doctor or nurse will probably want to measure your blood pressure a number of times over a few weeks to make sure the reading wasnt just a one off and that your blood pressure stays high over time.
Read about how , getting a , the you might have if you have a high blood pressure reading, and .
Find out why systolic blood pressure is the most important when it comes to keeping an eye on your numbers.
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Prevent High Blood Pressure
Practice healthy living habits, like being physically active, to help prevent high blood pressure.
By living a healthy lifestyle, you can help keep your blood pressure in a healthy range. Preventing high blood pressure, which is also called hypertension, can lower your risk for heart disease and stroke. Practice the following healthy living habits:
Us Guidelines Say Blood Pressure Of 120/80 Mm Hg Is Notnormal
New US guidelines on hypertension take a stronger approach, reclassifyinghigh normal blood pressure as pre-hypertension andcalling for aggressive treatment, firstly by changing lifestyle and then withdrugs.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes ofHealth, 39 professional, public, and voluntary agencies, and seven federalagencies issued the seventh report of the Joint National Committee onPrevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure .
The report was presented at the American Society of Hypertension meeting inNew York last week and is being published in theJournal of the American MedicalAssociation. Related guidelines fromthe National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute are on the institute’s website.
The new guidelines categorise blood pressure as normal ,pre-hypertension , stage 1 hypertension ,and stage 2 hypertension . In people aged over 50 yearshigh systolic blood pressure is considered a greater riskfactor for cardiovascular disease than high diastolic blood pressure.
The risk of cardiovascular disease begins at 115/75 mm Hg anddoubles with each increment of 20/10 mm Hg individuals who are normotensiveat 55 years of age have a 90% lifetime risk for developinghypertension, the guidelines say.
At the Mayo Clinic several team approaches were being used to encouragepatients who have hypertension but no symptoms to understand that changes nowcould prevent stroke or heart attack later, Dr Kottke added.
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What Do Blood Pressure Numbers Mean
Blood pressure is measured using two numbers:
The first number, called systolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats.
The second number, called diastolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart rests between beats.
If the measurement reads 120 systolic and 80 diastolic, you would say, 120 over 80, or write, 120/80 mmHg.
Regular Blood Pressure Checks For Over Over 40’s
The only way to find out whether you have high blood pressure is to have your blood pressure checked regularly. Ask your GP when you are next due for yours to be checked.
Blood pressure checks are usually available on request at most GP surgeries and health clinics. Some surgeries have home monitoring devices available, which you may be able to use at the time of blood pressure medication start up or change. Many also have a policy of arranging regular checks for you.
Adults who are over 40 and have not been diagnosed with high blood pressure should have their blood pressure checked at least once every five years. However, your blood pressure should ideally be checked more frequently, particularly if you have any contributory risk factors.
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What Can I Expect If I Have This Condition
Since high blood pressure doesnt cause many symptoms at first, you probably wont feel any different with a high blood pressure diagnosis. But its important to follow your providers instructions to bring your blood pressure down so it doesnt cause serious illnesses later in life.
How long does high blood pressure last?
If you have primary high blood pressure, youll need to control it for the rest of your life.
If you have secondary high blood pressure, your blood pressure will most likely come down after you receive treatment for the medical problem that caused it. If a medication caused your high blood pressure, switching to a different medicine may lower your blood pressure.
What is the outlook for high blood pressure?
You can get seriously ill if you dont treat your high blood pressure. However, if you take the medicines your provider ordered, you can control your blood pressure. Exercising and eating healthy foods also helps lower your blood pressure.
Can Exercise Help Lower High Blood Pressure
Exercise and physical activity help lower blood pressure by helping you lose weight and keeping your heart and blood vessels in good condition.
Weight loss achieved through diet and exercise helps control factors such as blood sugar, and other complications of obesity. Avoiding these complications helps lower blood pressure and prevent high blood pressure.
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How To Lower High Blood Pressure Without Medication
In my experience, many adults are taking more blood pressure medication than they need. Here are some very simple and effective ways you can lower your blood pressure without medication:
Having A Blood Pressure Test
A stethoscope, arm cuff, pump and dial was normally used to measure your blood pressure, but automatic devices with sensors and digital displays are commonly used nowadays.
It’s best to sit down with your back supported and legs uncrossed for at least 5 minutes before the test.
You’ll usually need to roll up your sleeves or remove any long-sleeved clothing so the cuff can be placed around your upper arm.
Try to relax and avoid talking while the test is carried out.
During the test:
- you hold out one of your arms so it’s at the same level as your heart, and the cuff is placed around it your arm should be supported in this position with a cushion or the arm of a chair, for example
- the cuff is pumped up to restrict the blood flow in your arm this squeezing may feel a bit uncomfortable, but only lasts a few seconds
- the pressure in the cuff is slowly released and detectors sense vibrations in your arteries a doctor will use a stethoscope to detect these if your blood pressure is measured manually
- the pressure in the cuff is recorded at 2 points as the blood flow starts to return to your arm these measurements are used to give your blood pressure reading
You can usually find out your result straight away, either from the healthcare professional carrying out the test or on the digital display.
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Release Suppressed Emotions And Heal Hypertension
There is no question that factors such as obesity, salt intake, and a sedentary lifestyle are associated with hypertension. And so is stress but, not in the way you would expect. According to Samuel J. Mann, M.D., author of Healing Hypertension: A Revolutionary New Approach, hypertension is associated with what we dont feel. In other words, our old, unhealed or repressed traumas are a major cause for hypertension. To deal with hypertension at its core , it is necessary to bring those hidden emotions to consciousness, and to deal with them directly.
My friend and colleague Annemarie Colbin, Ph.D., the founder of the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts in Manhattan, shared her personal experience healing from episodes of extremely high blood pressureas high as 220/120 despite her healthy lifestyle. She tried medications and also worked with a number of holistic practitioners such as her chiropractor, homeopath, and acupuncturist, which helped a little, but it wasnt enough. After reading Dr. Manns book and seeing him, she began to look at what hidden emotions she could be harboring. After uncovering a traumatic event during her childhood in World War II Hungary, and releasing the emotions associated with the memories, her blood pressure returned to normal within one hour!