Other Treatment To Reduce Risk Of Heart Disease
There are some natural health products that you may hear about to lower the risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. It is not clear if some vitamins, minerals, and multivitamins can lower risk. But it is clear that some natural health products, such as vitamin E and beta-carotene, do not lower risk.footnote 3
Talk with your doctor about the best ways to lower your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Tell your doctor if you plan to use natural health products. Your doctor can make sure they are safe for you.
What Is High Blood Pressure In Children
Although it’s most common in older adults, hypertension can also affect children. The normal blood pressure for a child is dependent upon the child’s age, gender, and height. Your doctor can tell if your child’s blood pressure is abnormal. Children are at higher risk for hypertension if they are overweight, African-American, or if they have a family history of the condition. Children with high blood pressure may benefit from the DASH diet and taking medications. Children with high blood pressure should also maintain a healthy weight and avoid tobacco smoke.
High Blood Pressure Medication
Don’t beat yourself up if lifestyle changes alone don’t get your blood pressure down to where it should be, Laffin says.
“Lifestyle changes only go so far, especially if your blood pressure is extremely high,” he says. “After a one- to three-month trial of lifestyle modifications, your doctor may consider adding medication, especially if you have other risk factors for heart disease or a family history of heart disease.”
There are many types of medication that can be used alone or in combination to treat high blood pressure. Each has risks and benefits that must be discussed with your doctor based on your health status. In general, side effects of blood pressure medicines may include cough, diarrhea or constipation, dizziness, fatigue, and/or headache.
Common blood pressure-lowering medications include:
Also Check: What Can Cause High Blood Pressure Spikes
Advancing Research For Improved Health
In support of our mission, we are committed to advancing high blood pressure research in part through the following ways.
- We perform research. The NHLBI Division of Intramural Research and its Cardiovascular Branch conducts research on diseases that affect the heart and blood vessels, including high blood pressure. Other DIR groups, such as the Center for Molecular Medicine and Systems Biology Center, perform research on heart and vascular diseases.
- We fund research. The research we fund today will help improve our future health. Our Division of Cardiovascular Sciences and its Vascular Biology and Hypertension Branch oversee much of the research we fund on the regulation of blood pressure, pathways involved in high blood pressure, and the complications from uncontrolled high blood pressure. The Center for Translation Research and Implementation Science supports research to translate these discoveries into clinical practice. Search the NIH RePORTer to learn about research NHLBI is funding on high blood pressure.
- We stimulate high-impact research. Our Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine Program includes participants who have high blood pressure, which may help us understand how genes contribute to differences in disease severity and how patients respond to treatment. The NHLBI Strategic Vision highlights ways we may support research over the next decade, including new efforts for studying high blood pressure.
Learn about exciting high blood pressure research we are exploring.
Why Is Your Blood Pressure Important
Your blood pressure is important because if it is too high, it affects the blood flow to your organs. Over the years, this increases your chances of developing heart disease, stroke, chronic kidney disease, eye disease, erectile dysfunction and other conditions.
Very occasionally, people with very high blood pressure are at serious risk of problems and need urgent treatment in hospital to reduce the risk of a stroke or heart attack.
Current Australian guidelines recommend that if you have persistent raised blood pressure over 160/100 mmHg, but are at low risk of having a stroke or heart attack, you should talk to your doctor or specialist about taking medication to lower your blood pressure.
For further information, visit the Choosing Wisely Australia website.
If youre over 18, you should have your blood pressure checked by your doctor at least every 2 years, or more often if advised.
Read Also: What Is Blood Pressure Supposed To Be
Early Warning Sign: Elevated Blood Pressure
An elevated blood pressure reading means that your blood pressure falls just above the normal level, corresponding to a systolic pressure between 120 and 129 or a diastolic pressure of 80 or less. The new guidelines eliminate the previous category of prehypertension. About one-fourth of Americans have elevated levels and they have two times the risk of heart disease compared with those who have lower blood pressures. Lifestyle changes can help many people with prehypertension lower their blood pressure.
Factors that increase your blood pressure can cause elevated levels. Medications such as birth control pills, cold remedies, decongestants, over-the-counter pain relievers, and some prescription drugs may cause a temporary rise in blood pressure. The buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries can also lead to prehypertension. Other conditions that may lead to prehypertension include the following:
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Thyroid disease
There are usually no symptoms with elevated blood pressure. The only way to keep track of your blood pressure is to visit your doctor regularly and have your blood pressure checked.
- Losing weight if overweight or obese
- Eating a healthy, low-salt diet
- Exercise regularly
- Quit smoking
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.
Recommended Reading: What Gives You High Blood Pressure
Regular Blood Pressure Checks If Diagnosed With High Blood Pressure
If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, your blood pressure will need to be closely monitored until it is brought under control.
After your blood pressure has been controlled, your GP or practice nurse will measure your blood pressure at agreed regular intervals .
It is important you attend these appointments to ensure your blood pressure is being maintained within an acceptable range.
What Are The Symptoms Of High Blood Pressure In Women
What is high blood pressure?
Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the inside lining of the arteries. High blood pressure, or hypertension, occurs when that force increases and stays higher than normal for a period. This condition can damage the blood vessels, heart, brain, and other organs. About
Recommended Reading: What Is Hypertensive Blood Pressure
British Columbia Specific Information
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, can damage your blood vessels, heart and kidneys. This damage can cause a heart attack, stroke or other health problems. Your blood pressure reading is based on two measurements called systolic and diastolic. The systolic and diastolic are written as a ratio, for example . A reading of more than 140/90 mmHg taken at your healthcare providers office may indicate high blood pressure. This figure is different for people with diabetes whose blood pressure should be below 130/80 mmHg. People suffering from other illnesses will have different target normal values. For more information on hypertension, visit the Heart & Stroke Foundation and Hypertension Canada.
Healthy lifestyle choices can help lower your blood pressure and improve your health. For information on healthy eating for lowering your blood pressure, see:
Diagnosing High Blood Pressure
Diagnosing hypertension is as simple as taking a blood pressure reading. Most doctors offices check blood pressure as part of a routine visit. If you dont receive a blood pressure reading at your next appointment, request one.
If your blood pressure is elevated, your doctor may request you have more readings over the course of a few days or weeks. A hypertension diagnosis is rarely given after just one reading. Your doctor needs to see evidence of a sustained problem. Thats because your environment can contribute to increased blood pressure, such as the stress you may feel by being at the doctors office. Also, blood pressure levels change throughout the day.
If your blood pressure remains high, your doctor will likely conduct more tests to rule out underlying conditions. These tests can include:
- cholesterol screening and other blood tests
- test of your hearts electrical activity with an electrocardiogram
- ultrasound of your heart or kidneys
These tests can help your doctor identify any secondary issues causing your elevated blood pressure. They can also look at the effects high blood pressure may have had on your organs.
During this time, your doctor may begin treating your hypertension. Early treatment may reduce your risk of lasting damage.
Two numbers create a blood pressure reading:
Five categories define blood pressure readings for adults:
Don’t Miss: How To Get Rid Of Low Blood Pressure
Home Blood Pressure Readings
You may be given a machine to take your own blood pressure readings at home.
These are readings taken by a person whilst seated and at rest at home, using a standard blood pressure machine. You need to take readings twice a day for a week. This will give 14 top and 14 bottom readings. Add the top readings together and divide by 14. Then do the same for the bottom readings. This gives you an average reading. It’s normal for your blood pressure to fluctuate, so a single raised reading isn’t a cause for concern unless it’s extremely high.
You may be advised to take readings twice a day for eight days rather than a week, and ignore the readings from the first day, which will tend to be higher.
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.
- 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.
Don’t Miss: What Do You Do When You Have Low Blood Pressure
Blood Pressure Checks During Pregnancy
If you are pregnant, you should have your blood pressure checked on a regular basis, even if it is not high.
Watching your blood pressure while you are pregnant reduces your risk of developing pregnancy-induced hypertension. This can lead to a serious condition called;pre-eclampsia where there is a problem with the placenta .
Adopting A Cleaner Lifestyle
If youre a smoker, try to quit. The chemicals in tobacco smoke damage the bodys tissues and harden blood vessel walls.
If you regularly consume too much alcohol or have an alcohol dependency, seek help to reduce the amount you drink or stop altogether. Alcohol can raise blood pressure.
One of the easiest ways you can treat hypertension and prevent possible complications is through your diet. What you eat can go a long way toward easing or eliminating hypertension.
Here are some of the most common dietary recommendations for people with hypertension.
Don’t Miss: What Is The Proper Blood Pressure
How To Lower Blood Pressure: Exercise
Exercise is another lifestyle factor that can lower blood pressure. It’s recommended that adults get about 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise. This can include cardiovascular exercises such as walking, bicycling, gardening, or other aerobic exercise. Muscle-strengthening activities are recommended at least twice a week and stretching makes you more flexible and helps prevent injuries. Check with your doctor if you are currently inactive and want to start exercising. Make exercise fun by doing activities you enjoy or find an exercise buddy to join you!
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.
Recommended Reading: What Is S Normal Blood Pressure
Eat Some Dark Chocolate
Yes, chocolate lovers: Dark chocolate has been shown to lower blood pressure.
But the dark chocolate should be 60 to 70 percent cacao. A review of studies on dark chocolate has found that eating one to two squares of dark chocolate per day may help lower the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure and inflammation. The benefits are thought to come from the flavonoids present in chocolate with more cocoa solids. The flavonoids help dilate, or widen, your blood vessels .
A 2010 study of 14,310 people found that individuals without hypertension who ate more dark chocolate had lower blood pressure overall than those who ate less dark chocolate (
For some people, getting a good nights sleep isnt easy. There are many ways to help you get restful sleep. Try setting a regular sleep schedule, spend time relaxing at night, exercise during the day, avoid daytime naps, and make your bedroom comfortable .
The national Sleep Heart Health Study found that regularly sleeping less than 7 hours a night and more than 9 hours a night was associated with an increased prevalence of hypertension. Regularly sleeping less than 5 hours a night was linked to a significant risk of hypertension long term .
High Blood Pressure In Pregnant Women
High blood pressure can also occur during pregnancy. Readings higher than 140 systolic or 90 diastolic is considered high. Normal blood pressure during pregnancy is less than 120 systolic and less than 80 diastolic. About 8 percent of women develop some form of hypertension while pregnant, says the .
There are two main categories of high blood pressure in pregnancy:
- Chronic hypertension:This is when blood pressure is high before a woman becomes 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 women and typically develop after 20 weeks of pregnancy. These types of problems typically disappear after a woman gives birth.
Your doctor may prescribe medications if you have high blood pressure during pregnancy.
You May Like: How Accurate Are Blood Pressure Apps
Improving Health With Current Research
Learn about the following ways in which we continue to translate current research and science into improved health for people who have high blood pressure. Research on this topic is part of our broader commitment to advancing scientific discovery in heart and vascular disease and health disparities and inequities research.
Learn about some of the pioneering research contributions we have made over the years that have improved clinical care.
Causes And Risk Factors Of High Blood Pressure
The following can increase your chances of developing high blood pressure.
Older age The risk of high blood pressure increases as you age.
According to the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey , 70 percent of adults age 65 or older have hypertension.
The risk of prehypertension and high blood pressure has been increasing in recent years in young people, too, including children and teens, possibly because of the rise of obesity in these populations.
Race High blood pressure is more common in Black American adults than in white or Hispanic American adults.
Family history Having a family history of high blood pressure increases your risk, as the condition tends to run in families.
Being overweight The more you weigh, the more blood you need to supply oxygen and nutrients to your tissues. As the volume of blood circulating through your blood vessels increases, so does the pressure on your artery walls. Obesity especially abdominal obesity also increases stiffness in arteries, which raises blood pressure.
Lack of physical activity People who are inactive tend to have a higher heart rate and higher blood pressure than those who are physically active. Not exercising also increases the risk of being overweight.
Dietary choices What you choose to eat can increase your risk for hypertension, including in the following ways:
Alcohol consumption Drinking more than two drinks a day for men and more than one drink a day for women may raise your blood pressure.
You May Like: How To Check High Blood Pressure
What Is High Blood Pressure Symptoms Causes Diagnosis Treatment And Prevention
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is a common disease that occurs when the pressure in your arteries is higher than it should be.
Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood throughout the body. If left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, vision loss, and more.