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.
How Can I Control My Blood Pressure
You can often lower your blood pressure by changing your day-to-day habits and by taking medication if needed. Treatment, especially if you have other medical conditions such as diabetes, requires ongoing evaluation and discussions with your doctor.
Lifestyle changes you can make to help prevent and lower high blood pressure:
In addition to recommending lifestyle changes, your doctor will likely prescribe medication to lower your blood pressure to a safe level. Isolated systolic hypertension, the most common form of high blood pressure in older adults, is treated in the same way as regular high blood pressure but may require more than one type of blood pressure medication. You may try several kinds or combinations of medications before finding a plan that works best for you. Medication can control your blood pressure, but it can’t cure it. If your doctor starts you on medication for high blood pressure, you may need to take it long-term.
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.
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High Blood Pressure And Older Adults
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High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a major health problem that is common in older adults. Your bodys network of blood vessels, known as the vascular system, changes with age. Arteries get stiffer, causing blood pressure to go up. This can be true even for people who have heart-healthy habits and feel just fine. High blood pressure, sometimes called “the silent killer,” often does not cause signs of illness that you can see or feel. Though it affects nearly half of all adults, many may not even be aware they have it.
If high blood pressure isn’t controlled with lifestyle changes and medication, it can lead to serious health problems, including cardiovascular disease such as heart disease and stroke, vascular dementia, eye problems, and kidney disease. The good news is that blood pressure can be controlled in most people.
Symptoms Of High Blood Pressure In Elderly Women
Theres no change to the symptoms of high blood pressure as a person ages. Although cis women who are past menopause are at higher risk for high blood pressure, theyre still unlikely to experience any symptoms at all. High blood pressure is still a silent condition in older women.
If any symptoms do occur, theyll be likely to be flushing, red spots in front of the eyes, and dizziness. But the best way for older women to monitor their blood pressure is to keep track of their blood pressure numbers and have conversations about their blood pressure with their healthcare professional.
The overall risk for high blood pressure goes up as everyone ages, regardless of sex or gender.
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What’s The Difference Between Blood Pressure And Pulse
While your blood pressure is the force of your blood moving through your blood vessels, your heart rate is the number of times your heart beats per minute.
- They are two separate measurements and indicators of health.
- For people with high blood pressure , theres no substitute for measuring blood pressure.
What Is A Hypertensive Crisis
A hypertensive crisis occurs when blood pressure suddenly rises above 180 systolic and/or 120 diastolic. This prompt either a hypertensive urgency or hypertensive emergency.
A hypertensive urgency accounts for about 75% of hypertensive crises. In these cases, a person has high blood pressure, but without any serious accompanying symptoms. A hypertensive emergency requires immediate medical care, as high BP is accompanied by one or more serious symptoms, including:
- Ischemic stroke
- Acute pulmonary edema
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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 .
High Blood Pressure Clinical Guidelines
Hypertension clinical guidelines from the American Heart Association are comprehensive guidelines for healthcare professionals for the detection and treatment of high blood pressure in a wide range of patients. Included in the 2021 hypertension clinical guidelines are proper methods for measuring blood pressure, risks for hypertension, and hypertension treatment for different populations.
These guidelines help guide healthcare practices, and can be related to patient reimbursement and healthcare coverage. The tenth revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, or ICD-10, is the set of codes used to designate specific health conditions and allow for reimbursement through health insurance programs.
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What Are The Symptoms
One of the sneaky things about high blood pressure is that you can have it for a long time without symptoms. That’s why it is important for you have your blood pressure checked at least once a year.
If you do have symptoms, they may be:
Although it happens rarely, the first symptom may be a stroke.
Blood Pressure Readings When Youre Over 70
With guidelines about “healthy” blood pressure changing faster than it takes to get a reading, you may be wondering whether what’s acceptable changes with age. After all, blood pressure does tend to naturally rise as people age. Here’s how to make sense of all the numbers.
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Essentially, your blood pressure should fall within the same range no matter how old you are, says Prachant Vaishnava, MD, an assistant professor in medicine and cardiology and a cardiologist at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. The latest guidelines from multiple organizations, including the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, suggest a blood pressure goal below 120/80 millimeters of mercury regardless of age.
“That means normal blood pressure range for a 70-year-old female should be the same as for a 45-year-old female,” Dr. Vaishnava says.
However, you could be swimming against the tide â many people find their blood pressure rises as they get older. The reason is that blood vessels become less elastic with age and are likely to respond more slowly when you change positions, say from sitting to standing, according to the National Institutes of Health.
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What Are The Causes Of High Blood Pressure
Elevated blood pressure increases your risk of chronic high blood pressure as you age. Taking steps to manage your blood pressure helps decrease this risk.
There are also some health conditions that increase your risks of chronic high blood pressure, including obesity and diabetes. Other causes include:
- Genetics/family history
- Lack of exercise
- Alcohol or tobacco abuse
As adults age, their odds of high blood pressure increase, with 90% of Americans forecasted to develop high blood pressure in their lifetimes. Black people tend to develop high blood pressure more often and earlier in life compared to white people. Hispanics, Asians, American Indians, and Pacific Islanders also stand an increased risk of high blood pressure compared to other ethnicities.
Normal Bp Range For Adults By Age
Understanding the normal BP range with age can help the doctor and you to estimate your cardiovascular health. Blood pressure levels can fluctuate significantly from one reading to the next and it is important to remember that just one abnormally high reading does not signify that you have high blood pressure. Doctors usually use an average of multiple blood pressure readings taken over a period of several days to arrive at a diagnosis of high blood pressure.
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Normal Blood Pressure In Women
High blood pressure is largely treatable with lifestyle and medications, but only slightly over half of women with high blood pressure have their condition under control says a recent study from the American Heart Association . So what is normal blood pressure for women?
You can work to stay healthy by monitoring your numbers, considering healthy lifestyle changes, and following your doctors orders. Health tools such as Lark, which is provided free of charge by many health plans and includes guidance on blood pressure reduction and free tools to track it at home, can help you.
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What Are The Causes Of Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure is generally defined as 90/60 mm Hg and is not necessarily unhealthy. Some people always have low blood pressure, so it depends on the person. However, a sudden drop in blood pressure may be a warning sign of more serious health problems. For example, Parkinson’s disease can cause problems in your body’s “fight-or-flight” signals that can lead to low blood pressure. Other low blood pressure causes include:
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Side Effects Of High Blood Pressure
Dangers of untreated high blood pressure include stroke, heart attack, heart failure, vision loss, kidney failure, vascular dementia and sexual dysfunction, says Dr. Desai. Its one of the top risk factors for developing atrial fibrillation, which is the most common heart rhythm disorder worldwide and can lead to stroke, heart failure and reduced quality of life.
What Is Essential High Blood Pressure In Women
Essential hypertension is also known as primary high blood pressure. Over 9 out of 10 cases of hypertension are essential, and this is the kind of hypertension most people are referring to when they talk about âhypertensionâ or âhigh blood pressure.â This kind of hypertension is the direct result of factors such as lifestyle choices or genetic factors. Related lifestyle factors can include the following.
- Being overweight
In contrast to essential high blood pressure, secondary high blood pressure is high blood pressure that occurs due to the effects of another condition or medical cause, such as kidney disease, adrenal disease, or medications, such as some over-the-counter painkillers and oral contraceptive pills .
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What Is A Healthy Blood Pressure
When the heart is squeezing blood into the arteries, the pressure is high. When the heart is relaxed, the pressure is lower.
Your blood pressure is a measurement taken of the highest reading and the lowest reading . It is given as 2 figures highest over lowest or systolic over diastolic. Blood pressure is measured in mmHg, which refers to millimetres of mercury.
Your blood pressure varies from day to day, even moment to moment. Most doctors would say that a healthy blood pressure is higher than 90/60 mmHg but lower than about 140/90.
What Does The Systolic Blood Pressure Number Mean
When your heart beats, it squeezes and pushes blood through your arteries to the rest of your body. This force creates pressure on those blood vessels, and that’s your systolic blood pressure.
Hereâs how to understand your systolic blood pressure number:
- Normal: Below 120
- Stage 1 high blood pressure : 130-139
- Stage 2 hypertension: 140 or more
- Hypertensive crisis: 180 or more. Call 911.
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Let’s Talk About Blood Pressure
Almost half of American adults have high blood pressure, and many dont know it. Most of the time high blood pressure has no obvious symptoms to indicate that something is wrong, but HBP can lead to heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure.
To help the community be aware of the risks and make changes that matter, the AHA created the eLearning micromodules Lets Talk About Blood Pressure.
The online modules take about 15 minutes to complete and bring awareness to the problem, explain blood pressure numbers in a way that is easily understood, present lifestyle and other treatments to lower and manage high blood pressure, and provide support in sharing this information with others in their family and community.
Its important to know about blood pressure and how to keep it in the healthy range. High blood pressure is a symptomless silent killer that quietly damages blood vessels and leads to serious health problems.
While there is no cure, using medications as prescribed and making lifestyle changes can enhance your quality of life and reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and more.
Normal Blood Pressure For Children
Normal BP ranges vary in children by age. The University of Iowa Stead Family Childrens Hospital provides this blood pressure chart:
|Normal Blood Pressure for Children|
|112128 mm Hg||6680 mm Hg|
What is considered healthy for your child also varies by height, age, and sex. You can use Baylor College of Medicine’s calculator to see if your childs blood pressure reading is in a healthy range.
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When To Call Your Doctor
The risks of both high and low blood pressure make monitoring your blood pressure at home essential to your overall health and well-being. Both Dr. Wong and Dr. Desai recommend calling your healthcare provider if your self-monitored blood pressure readings are greater than 180/120 mmHgeven if you have no other symptoms.
You should call 911 if these blood pressure readings are associated with symptoms of organ damage, such as headache, vision changes, weakness, numbness, chest pain or shortness of breath, says Dr. Wong.
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How Is It Diagnosed
Because it is such a common problem, blood pressure is checked at most healthcare visits. High blood pressure is usually discovered during one of these visits. If your blood pressure is high, you will be asked to return for follow-up checks. If repeated checks of your blood pressure show that it is higher than 140/90, you have hypertension.
Your healthcare provider will ask about your life situation, what you eat and drink, and if high blood pressure runs in your family. You may have urine and blood tests. Your provider may order a chest X-ray and an electrocardiogram . You may be asked to use a portable blood-pressure measuring device, which will take your pressure at different times during day and night. All of this testing is done to look for a possible cause of your high blood pressure.
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