Salt Intake And High Blood Pressure
Reducing the amount of salt you eat can also help to manage or even avoid high blood pressure. To help reduce your salt intake:
- Ensure your diet consists of wholefoods including vegetables, fruits, wholegrains, lean meat and poultry, fish and seafood, legumes, unsalted nuts and seeds.
- Avoid packaged and processed foods that are high in salt. You cant see the salt in these foods, so you dont know how much salt you are having. Get into the habit of checking food labels.
- Choose low-salt food where possible. If you cant find low-salt products, those with moderate amounts of salt are ok too. Another simple alternative is to look for labels with low salt, salt reduced or no added salt.
- Avoid adding salt to cooking or at the table flavour meals with herbs and spices instead.
How Is It Treated
If your systolic blood pressure is too high, your doctor may prescribe medicine to help bring it down. Drugs used to control blood pressure include:
- Diuretics to help your kidneys flush water and sodium from your body
- Beta-blockers to make your heart beat slower and less forcefully
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockers , or calcium channel blockers to relax your blood vessels
- Renin inhibitors to keep your kidneys from making a chemical that can lead to higher blood pressure
Your doctor also may recommend you do a few other things:
- If you smoke, stop. There are lots of good reasons for this, but nicotine in cigarette smoke can raise your blood pressure.
- Lower the amount of salt in your diet.
- Cut back on alcohol if you drink.
- Get to or stay at a healthy weight.
Normal Blood Pressure By Age Race And Gender
Previously, guidance for normal blood pressure for adults varied by gender and specific age, but new data states normal blood pressure for adults as a collective is less than 120/80 mmHgHigh Blood Pressure Symptoms and Causes. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed 7/16/2021. .
When it comes to race and ethnicity, Dr. Desai says certain groups have a higher rate of hypertension. Non-Hispanic Black people have a significantly higher rate of hypertension compared to non-Hispanic white people, and Hispanics and non-Hispanic Asians have lower rates than the first two, he says.
The reason for this variance can range from substandard insurance coverage and poor access to healthcare to gaps in the use of medications to treat multiple conditions with reduced compliance in certain groups, he adds.
As for gender, theres increasing evidence for risk of cardiovascular disease in women with blood pressures lower than what is considered normal, says Jennifer Wong, M.D., medical director of non-invasive cardiology at MemorialCare Heart and Vascular Institute at Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California.
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Know Your Numbers: Blood Pressure
Knowing and understanding key heart numbers blood pressure, cholesterol and heart rate, along with your family history allow you and your health care team to determine your risk for developing heart and cardiovascular disease. Knowing your risk is critical to preventing heart disease and for taking steps to improve your overall heart health.
Why Is High Blood Pressure Common In Blacks
To date, researchers do not have a definitive answer to this question, but some believe that high blood pressure in Blacks may be triggered by the following factors:
- Genetic factors. High rates of high blood pressure in Blacks may be due to the genetic make-up of people of African descent. Researchers have uncovered some facts: In the U.S, blacks respond differently to high blood pressure drugs than do other groups of people. Blacks in the U.S. also seem to be more sensitive to salt, which increases the risk of developing high blood pressure.
- Environmental factors. Some scientists believe that high blood pressure in Blacks is due to factors unique to the experience of blacks in the U.S. Blacks worldwide have rates of high blood pressure that are similar to whites. In the U.S., however, the difference is dramatic: 41% of Blacks have high blood pressure, as compared to 27% of whites. In addition, Black people in the U.S are more likely to be overweight than Blacks in other countries. Some experts think that social and economic factors — including discrimination and economic inequality — are responsible for this difference.
Researchers will hopefully find the causes for the high incidence of high blood pressure in Blacks. In the meantime, there is a lot you can do to keep high blood pressure from damaging your health.
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How To Measure Your Blood Pressure
Usually, before a doctors appointment, a nurse checks your blood pressure to make sure its not too low or too high. But you can also check your blood pressure readings at home.
You can use an inflatable cuff, similar to those used at your doctors office. Or you can use a digital blood pressure monitor with automatic cuff inflation.
Read the directions carefully when measuring your blood pressure at home, and follow the instructions that come with the product.
Also, keep in mind that certain factors may cause a temporary rise in your blood pressure. These factors include:
For a more accurate blood pressure reading:
- Take your blood pressure in a quiet location when youre calm and relaxed.
- Dont exercise, smoke, or drink caffeine for at least 30 minutes before measuring your blood pressure.
- Its best to vary the times of day that you take your pressure readings to see the range of your readings.
Chart: What Are Normal Blood Pressure Ranges By Age For Women
As with men, women’s average BP ranges also vary by age group. The age group with the lowest normal blood pressure reading is different between the systolic and diastolic reading. Women ages 21-25 have the lowest normal diastolic reading , while women age 31-35 have the lowest normal systolic reading . The age group with the highest normal blood pressure reading is women ages 56-60 .
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Average Blood Pressure By Age
As you get older, your blood vessels tend to become stiffer and plaque can build up in them, which can raise your blood pressure. If your blood pressure becomes too high, you’re at a greater risk for heart disease, strokes, and more.
In 2015, the average blood pressure worldwide was 127/79 mm Hg in men, and 122/77 mm Hg in women, according to a study analysis published in Lancet.
When researchers for the National Center for Health Statistics looked at average blood pressure in U.S. adults between 2001 and 2008, the average reading was 122/71 mm Hg. The breakout was 124/72 mm Hg for men, and 121/70 mm Hg in women. It rose by age and was significantly higher in Black people.
The researchers found the following breakdown by age, sex, and race or ethnicity:
|Blood Pressure by Age|
As the population ages and life expectancy increases, high blood pressure is becoming more common.
When To Call Your Healthcare Provider
A hypertensive crisisdefined as blood pressure above 180/120 mm Hgrequires immediate medical attention. Call 911 if you are also experiencing symptoms such as chest pain, back pain, shortness of breath, difficulty speaking, a change in vision, weakness, or numbness.
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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 Does A Blood Pressure Reading Look Like
When you have your , you will be given two numbers, a top number and a bottom number.
- Systolic blood pressure. This is the first, or top, number. This is the highest level your blood pressure reaches when your heart beats, forcing blood around your body.
- Diastolic blood pressure. The second number, or bottom number, is the lowest level your blood pressure reaches as your heart relaxes between beats.
Blood pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury . If the first number is 120 and the second number is 80, this would be written as 120/80mmHg, and youd call it 120 over 80.
This video explains more about systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
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What Do Your Blood Pressure Numbers Actually Mean
When it comes to blood pressure, the highs, lows and whats normal can be confusing. Learn more about what these numbers mean and why they should matter to you and your heart.
webonJune 1, 2020
At a recent appointment, your doctor says, Youll be happy to hear your blood pressure is down from 140 over 90 to 120 over 80.
Great news! you reply. But what do these fraction-like numbers actually mean?
Dont worry. You wont need advanced math skills to figure it out.
Keep Yourself At A Healthy Weight
Having overweight or obesity increases your risk for high blood pressure. To determine whether your weight is in a healthy range, doctors often calculate your body mass index . If you know your weight and height, you can calculate your BMI at CDCs Assessing Your Weight website. Doctors sometimes also use waist and hip measurements to assess body fat.
Talk with your health care team about ways to reach a healthy weight, including choosing healthy foods and getting regular physical activity.
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What Do The Readings Mean
As a general guide:
140/90mmHg or over you may have high blood pressureMost doctors use 140/90mmHg as the cut off for point for diagnosing . This is the point where your risk of serious health problems goes up. They might prescribe and advise you to make changes to your to bring your blood pressure down. 120/80mmHg up to 140/90mmHg pre-high blood pressureAlso called high-normal blood pressure. This is not high blood pressure, but it is a little higher than it should be and means you could go on to develop high blood pressure. See how you can make to lower it. 90/60mmHg up to 120/80mmHg ideal blood pressureAlso called normal blood pressure. Your blood pressure reading is healthy. At this level you have a much lower risk of heart disease and stroke. Following a will help you to keep it in the healthy range. 90/60mmHg or lower you may have low blood pressure usually isnt a problem, but it can sometimes make you feel faint or dizzy or could be a sign of another health problem.
The video below explains how your blood pressure numbers are linked to the risk of stroke and other disease.
Who Gets Isolated Systolic Hypertension
Older people are more likely to have it, because systolic blood pressure usually goes up as you age.
- More than 30% of women over 65 and more than 20% of men have this condition.
- If your parents had high blood pressure, you may be more likely to have it.
- African-Americans are more likely than other groups to have high blood pressure.
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How To Read Blood Pressure Numbers
Now lets explore the measurement. Blood pressure is always shown as two numbers. Use 120 over 80, which is written as 120/80 mm Hg , as an example. The 120 is the top number and is known as systolic blood pressure. It represents the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats. The 80 is the bottom number and is known as diastolic blood pressure. This is the pressure measured between your heartbeats when your heart is relaxing.
While both numbers are important, the American Heart Association notes the top number usually gets more attention. Thats because it helps show your risk of having a stroke or heart attack, along with kidney disease, congestive heart failure, vision loss and memory loss.
A high systolic reading is considered a major heart disease risk factor for people older than 50. As we age, arteries can become stiff and develop plaque buildup. In other words, if your blood is essentially punching the walls inside your heart, over and over again, damage will eventually occur.
Heres how the American Heart Association categorizes blood pressure levels.
- Normal: systolic less than 120 and diastolic less than 80
- Prehypertension: systolic 120-139 or diastolic 80-89
- Stage 1 high blood pressure: systolic 140-159 or diastolic 90-99
- Stage 2 high blood pressure: systolic 160 or higher or diastolic 100 or higher
- Hypertensive crisis : systolic higher than 180 or diastolic higher than 110
Low blood pressure is typically not a problem unless you notice symptoms like:
What Does The Systolic Blood Pressure Number Mean
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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Here Is Information About One Of The Most Dangerous And Sneakiest Health Conditions: Blood Pressure
What is blood pressure?
Blood pressure is a measure of how hard your blood pushes against your arteries as it moves through your body. High blood pressure occurs when your blood pressure, the force of your blood against the walls of your blood vessels, is consistently too high. High blood pressure is harmful because it makes the heart work harder and less efficiently.
Why blood pressure matters
High blood pressure can cause significant damage to your eyes, kidneys, brain and blood vessels. Left untreated, it can lead to kidney failure or vision loss. High blood pressure also can affect your ability to think, remember and learn. There’s even a type of dementia vascular dementia caused by high blood pressure.
High blood pressure is one of the most dangerous health conditions because of how sneaky it can be. You can have high blood pressure for years without experiencing any symptoms. Even without symptoms, damage to your heart can still occur. Fortunately, high blood pressure can be easily detected. And once you know you have high blood pressure, you can work with your health care provider to control it.
How is blood pressure measured?
Blood pressure is traditionally measured using an inflatable cuff around your arm. The cuff is inflated, and the cuff gently tightens on your arm. The air in the cuff is slowly released and a small gauge measures your blood pressure.
Your blood pressure is recorded as two numbers:
What is considered normal?
What you can do
Know your numbers
Signs And Symptoms Of Hypertension
Often, kids and teens with pre-hypertension or stage 1 hypertension wont show any symptoms at all. If your child has stage 2 hypertension, she might experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- abdominal pain
- breathing problems
An infant with stage 2 hypertension may seem irritable, not be feeding properly, or vomiting. Sometimes these infants are diagnosed with failure to thrive.
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What Is A Normal Blood Pressure Reading
Do you know what your blood pressure reading should be?
Blood pressure is the force at which your heart pumps blood around the body and is recorded with 2 numbers. The higher of the numbers is an indication of when the heart is pumping the lower number is the resistance to the blood flow in the blood vessels. Its widely publicised that high and low blood pressure can induce health problems, but what about healthy blood pressure?
The ‘bottom’ Blood Pressure Number Matters Too
THURSDAY, July 18, 2019 — When it comes to blood pressure readings, the “top” number seems to grab all the attention.
But a large, new study confirms that both numbers are, in fact, critical in determining the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Blood pressure measurements are given as a “top” and “bottom” number. The first reflects systolic blood pressure, the amount of pressure in the arteries as the heart contracts. The second reflects diastolic blood pressure, the pressure in the arteries between heart muscle contractions.
For years, systolic blood pressure has been seen as the one that really matters. That’s based on studies — including the famous Framingham Heart Study — showing that high systolic blood pressure is a stronger predictor of heart disease and stroke.
At the same time, though, doctors measure both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and treatment guidelines are based on both. So just how important is that diastolic number?
“The idea behind this new study was to address the confusion,” said lead researcher Dr. Alexander Flint, an investigator with Kaiser Permanente Northern California’s division of research.
Using medical records from 1.3 million patients, his team confirmed that, yes, high systolic blood pressure was a stronger risk factor for heart attack and stroke. But those risks also climbed in tandem with diastolic pressure and people with normal systolic readings were still at risk if their diastolic pressure was high.
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High Blood Pressure Symptoms
High blood pressure is known as the silent killer because it typically has no symptoms. In fact, most people dont even realize they have hypertension until their blood pressure is monitored.
Symptoms dont develop until the numbers get very high and organs get damaged, often irreversibly, says Dr. Desai.
If you have severe hypertension, you might notice the below symptoms, some of which were reported by patients in a study in the British Journal of General PracticeGoodhart A. Hypertension from the patients perspective. British Journal of General Practice. 2016 66:570. :