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What Are The Risks Of High Blood Pressure

What Should You Do If You Test Positive For Covid

High blood pressure, pre-eclampsia and pregnancy risks

If you have high blood pressure and test positive for COVID-19, take the following five steps:

  • Self-isolate. Stay home. Only leave to seek medical care. If there are others in your household, try to use a separate bedroom and bathroom. Wear a face covering if you must be around others.
  • Get in touch with your doctor for a consultation. Many doctors are offering telehealth appointments in lieu of in-person appointments during the pandemic.
  • Get guidance. Let your doctor know about your positive test result and any symptoms youre experiencing. Theyll advise you on your blood pressure medications and how to take care of yourself while you recover.
  • Care for yourself. Follow all of your doctors instructions as you recover. In addition to taking your medications, its important to continue to follow their guidance for things like diet and exercise as well.
  • Monitor symptoms. Keep track of your symptoms. Dont hesitate to seek emergency treatment if they begin to get worse.

How To Understand High Blood Pressure Readings

Two numbers create a blood pressure reading. Systolic pressure indicates the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats and pumps out blood. Diastolic pressure is the reading of the pressure in your arteries between beats of your heart.

Five categories define blood pressure readings for adults:

  • Healthy: A healthy blood pressure reading is less than 120/80 millimeters of mercury .
  • Elevated: The systolic number is between 120 and 129 mm Hg, and the diastolic number is less than 80 mm Hg. Doctors usually dont treat elevated blood pressure with medication. Instead, your doctor may encourage lifestyle changes to help lower your numbers.
  • Stage 1 hypertension: The systolic number is between 130 and 139 mm Hg, or the diastolic number is between 80 and 89 mm Hg.
  • Stage 2 hypertension: The systolic number is 140 mm Hg or higher, or the diastolic number is 90 mm Hg or higher.
  • Hypertensive crisis: The systolic number is over 180 mm Hg, or the diastolic number is over 120 mm Hg. Blood pressure in this range requires urgent medical attention. If any symptoms like chest pain, headache, shortness of breath, or visual changes occur when blood pressure is this high, medical care in the emergency room is needed.

A blood pressure reading is taken with a pressure cuff. For an accurate reading, its important you have a cuff that fits. An ill-fitting cuff may deliver inaccurate readings.

Know When To Call For Help For Complications

Readings above 180/120 mm Hg are dangerously high and require immediate medical attention. Blood pressure this high can damage your organs. if you experience:

  • A sudden, severe headache
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sudden, severe pain in your abdomen, chest, or back

High blood pressure can also lead to heart attack or stroke. if you suspect this is happening to you or someone else.

Heart attack

The signs and symptoms of a heart attack include:

  • Nausea, vomiting, light-headedness or fainting, or breaking out in a cold sweat. These symptoms of a heart attack are more common in women.
  • Prolonged or severe chest pain or discomfort not relieved by rest or nitroglycerin. This involves uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain in the center or left side of the chest that can be mild or strong. This pain or discomfort often lasts more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back.
  • Shortness of breath. This may accompany chest discomfort or happen before it.
  • Upper body discomfort. This can be felt in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or upper part of the stomach.


If you think someone may be having a stroke, act F.A.S.T. and perform the following simple test.

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What Are The Precautions For Use

For diuretics:

  • The serum creatinine must be checked beforehand, to assess renal function,
  • Serum potassium and natremia should be monitored at the start of treatment and then monitored regularly

For beta-blockers:

  • The patients heart rate and blood pressure should be monitored and noted in a diary,
  • Never take an additional dose of medication to make up for an oversight,
  • Never stop treatment without the advice of a doctor,

For calcium channel blockers:

  • To be taken during meals to improve digestive tolerance,
  • The tablets must not be sucked, crunched, or crushed,
  • Do not consume grapefruit with Lercanidipine and Manidipine,
  • Be careful when driving a car due to the risk of feeling dizzy with: Amlodipine, felodipine, isradipine, manidipine.

For ACE inhibitors:

  • Monitor blood pressure, creatinemia, and serum potassium at the start of treatment and regularly throughout treatment.
  • For angiotensin II antagonists :

There are possible drug interactions with several drugs, including statins or ACE inhibitors.

How To Lower Blood Pressure

Dangers of High Blood Pressure

There are lots of things you can do to lower your blood pressure.

If your doctor has given you blood pressure medication, take it as prescribed. However, you’ll also need to follow a heart-healthy lifestyle.

Even if you haven’t been diagnosed with hypertension, following these tips will be good for your blood pressure and good for your heart.

Quit smoking

Stopping smoking is a great thing you can do for your blood pressure and your heart health.

Ask your doctor or nurse for help.

Phone Quitline 0800 778 778, or visit for information and support.

Eat more heart-healthy foods and less salt

What you put into your body can make a big difference to your blood pressure.

Eat a wide variety of heart-healthy foods like:

  • whole grains

Read more about the benefits of exercise.

Manage stress

Researchers are still trying to understand the exact link between stress and long-term high blood pressure. However being stressed contributes to other risk factors like poor diet and drinking more alcohol.

You can’t always remove the sources of stress in your life. But here are some things you can do to manage them.

  • Enjoy exercise every day, like taking a walk.
  • Take a break for yourself.
  • Get 7-8 hours plus sleep each night.
  • Talk about how you are feeling.
  • Try relaxation music or breathing exercises.

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How Is High Blood Pressure Treated

If high blood pressure is due to a condition like kidney disease or lung disease, treating it might be enough to get the blood pressure back to normal.

Doctors also might recommend lifestyle changes. If you have hypertension, your doctor might want you to:

Eat a healthy diet:

  • Eat more fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy.
  • Limit salt.
  • Avoid alcohol.

Get regular exercise:

  • Try to exercise for 3060 minutes at least 3 times a week. But teens with severe hypertension should not do any weightlifting or power-lifting, bodybuilding, or strength training until their blood pressure is under control and a doctor says it’s OK.

Not smoke. Or if you do smoke, quit:

  • People with high blood pressure should not smoke, and their home and car should be smoke-free.

If diet and exercise changes do not improve the blood pressure, doctors may prescribe medicine.

Can Hypertension Cause Other Problems

When your blood pressure is too high for too long, it damages your blood vessels and LDL cholesterol begins to accumulate along tears in your artery walls. This increases the workload of your circulatory system while decreasing its efficiency.

As a result, high blood pressure puts you at greater risk for developing life-changing and potentially life-threating conditions.

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Research For Your Health

The NHLBI is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health the Nations biomedical research agency that makes important scientific discovery to improve health and save lives. We are committed to advancing science and translating discoveries into clinical practice to promote the prevention and treatment of heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders, including high blood pressure. Learn about the current and future NHLBI efforts to improve health through research and scientific discovery.

How Is High Blood Pressure Diagnosed

How to lower high blood pressure & Reduce risks for heart attacks

To figure out your blood pressure rate, your health care provider takes blood pressure readings at different times. You need more than 1 reading because blood pressure changes depending on what you are doing and varies during the day. For example, your blood pressure can increase when you are nervous or in a hurry.

If your blood pressure is high while with your health care provider but normal otherwise, you may just be nervous. This effect is common. Even people already being treated for high blood pressure go through this.

What matters is what happens to your blood pressure outside your health care providers office. If you have high blood pressure, you should use a home blood pressure monitor. Ask your health care provider how to use the monitor correctly.

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How Blood Pressure Is Controlled

When the heart contracts, the blood inside the left ventricle is forced out into the aorta and arteries. The blood then enters small vessels with muscular walls, called arterioles. The tone in the muscular walls of the arterioles determines how relaxed or constricted they are. If narrowed, they resist flow.Reduced flow of blood is detected in the brain, the kidneys and elsewhere. Nerve reflexes are stimulated and hormones are then produced. The heart is induced to beat more forcefully so that blood pressure is maintained at a higher level, to overcome the restricted flow through the arterioles. The achievement of good flow eases possible problems for function of the brain and kidneys.These adjustments occur normally. However, in some people the adjustments become fixed and high blood pressure persists. These people have developed hypertension.

Damaging Blows To The Heart

High blood pressure has the potential to cause a slue of problems for your heart.

Coronary artery disease occurs when the arteries narrow and the body is not able to apply proper blood flow to the heart. If you are experiencing chest pain, irregular heart rhythms, or suffering from a heart attack, it may be caused by high blood pressure over time damaging your heart and causing these symptoms.

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Causes And Risk Factors Of High Diastolic Blood Pressure

1. Age and Gender

The top risk factor is aging for both men and women, covering 90% of all the population with hypertension. Men above the age of 45 and women above 55 have a higher risk of getting the problem. However, hypertension is becoming more common in teenagers. Boys usually are at a higher risk than girls.

2. Race and Ethnicity

African-Americans are at a higher risk of getting hypertension compared to Caucasians and other ethnicities. Around 40% of African-American men and women have high blood pressure. African-Americans get hypertension at a younger age and it increases the risk of premature deaths from kidney failure, heart failure, heart attack and stroke.

3. Family History

If you have parents with hypertension, you are likely to get it too.

4. Obesity

One third of hypertension patients are overweight. Adults who are overweight have a double risk of getting high diastolic blood pressure compared with people with normal weight. Children and adolescents who are obese are a high risk of getting hypertension when they are adults.

5. Obstructive Sleep Apnea

This is a condition whereby breathing repeatedly stops during sleep. Most patients with hypertension have sleep apnea. The relation between the two conditions has been thought to be a result of obesity. But some studies are showing that people with sleep apnea also have hypertension regardless of their weight.

6. Lifestyle Factors

7. Medical Conditions

8. Medication

How Do I Know If I Have High Blood Pressure

high blood pressure Archives

Theres only one way to know if you have high blood pressure: Have a doctor or other health professional measure it. Measuring your blood pressure is quick and painless.

Talk with your health care team about regularly measuring your blood pressure at home, also called self-measured blood pressure monitoring.

High blood pressure is called the silent killer because it usually has no warning signs or symptoms, and many people do not know they have it.

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Social And Economic Factors

Recent research has shown that factors such as income, your education, where you live, and the type of job you have may contribute to your risk of developing high blood pressure. For example, working early or late shifts can raise your risk.

Experiencing danger or harm as a child has also been tied to a higher risk of developing high blood pressure.

Heart Attack And Heart Disease

High blood pressure can damage your arteries by making them less elastic, which decreases the flow of blood and oxygen to your heart and leads to heart disease. In addition, decreased blood flow to the heart can cause:

  • Chest pain, also called angina.
  • Heart attack, which happens when the blood supply to your heart is blocked and heart muscle begins to die without enough oxygen. The longer the blood flow is blocked, the greater the damage to the heart.
  • Heart failure, a condition that means your heart cant pump enough blood and oxygen to your other organs.

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Managing High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

As part of your regular prenatal care, your doctor will measure your blood pressure at each visit. Learn more about how to prepare for a blood pressure test.

If you have high blood pressure, your doctor will closely monitor you and your baby and provide special care to lower the chance of complications. You may need to:

  • Check your blood pressure at home. Visit Measure Your Blood Pressure for more information.
  • Keep track of how many times you feel the baby kicking each day.
  • Limit your physical activity. Talk to your doctor about what level of physical activity is right for you.
  • Take medicine to control your blood pressure. If you do, talk to your doctor about which medicines are safe for your baby. These medicines may include calcium-channel blockers , taken by mouth, or beta blockers or vasodilators , given through an IV.
  • Take aspirin in the second trimester, if you are at risk of preeclampsia and your doctor recommends aspirin.
  • Visit your doctor more often to monitor your condition and your babys growth rate and heart rate. He or she may order blood and urine tests to check how well your organs are working, which can help detect preeclampsia.

If your doctor is concerned about you or your babys health, they may recommend that you deliver your baby before 39 weeks. You may need to stay in the hospital to get medicine that will help your babys lungs develop faster and to be monitored before and after you deliver your baby.

How Can You Manage Your High Blood Pressure

COVID-19 and the risk for those with high blood pressure

Treatment of high blood pressure often starts with lifestyle changes, including decreasing salt in your diet, losing weight if necessary, stopping smoking, cutting down on alcohol use, and regular exercise.

In addition to lifestyle changes, medications are often used to lower blood pressure. There are several types of medications that treat high blood pressure with each type of medication having benefits and risks that should be carefully weighed by you and your health care provider. Most people take more than one medication in order to bring their blood pressure down to their treatment goal.

Your blood pressure medication should begin to work within days. However, because high blood pressure is a long-lasting medical condition that often has little or no symptoms, remembering to take your medications can be a challenge. Combination medicines, long-acting or once-a-day medications, may be used to decrease the burden of taking numerous medications and help ensure medications regularly. Once started, the medication should be used until your doctor tells you to stop.

Controlling your blood pressure should be part of a healthy living plan and lifelong task. The damage that high blood pressure causes your internal organs does not cause any symptoms until serious damage has been done.

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Causes And Risk Factors

You may be at an increased risk for high blood pressure if you smoke, areoverweight, eat a diet thats low on produce and fiber and/or high in fatand salt, drink alcohol to excess, live with chronic stress or dont getmuch physical activity. Some causes of hypertension cannot becontrolledincluding your genes and your race . Aging also plays a role. Even if you do not have hypertensionby age 55 to 65, your lifetime risk for developing it is a whopping 90percent.

But doctors no longer consider hypertension inevitable or untreatable withage, saysSamuel Durso, M.D.,director of the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology at JohnsHopkins.

In one Johns Hopkins study of 975 older women and men with hypertension,healthy lifestyle steps helped 40 percent stop taking blood pressuremedications. Other research has shown that lifestyle changes can lower therisk for hypertension in African-Americans and others at an increasedgenetic risk.

What Boosts Your Blood Pressure

You have high blood pressure if the top number is 130 or higher and if the bottom number is 80 or higher . Most of the time, doctors donât know what causes hypertension, although it tends to increase with age. Race and family history are risk factors But some things raise your blood pressure:

Being overweight. Excessive weight puts more strain on your heart and more pressure on your blood vessels. This is partly why physical activity and a healthy diet are so important.

Little or no physical activity. When you donât move much, you usually have a higher heart rate, which makes your heart pump harder with each heartbeat. But when you exercise, your body makes hormones that relax your blood vessels and lower your blood pressure.

Too much salt. Sodium, which is in salt, can boost your blood pressure because it plays a role in narrowing your blood vessels and increases your total body fluid/blood volume. So itâs best to limit salt in your diet. You also need to get enough potassium, found in foods like bananas, potatoes, and yogurt. It helps to balance your sodium levels and keep your blood pressure in check.

Alcohol use. Over time, heavy drinking can damage your heart’s muscle. If you drink, itâs best to limit yourself. For healthy women, that means one drink a day. For healthy men, itâs two drinks a day up until age 65, then just one.

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