5 things we bet you did not know about high blood pressure!
Hypertension also known as high blood pressure is perhaps the leading causes of heart diseases. According to the World Heart Federation more than 58.5% of heart related diseases are caused by consistent high blood pressure and hypertension.
Although people are now largely aware of the causes and effects of hypertension there are still some commonly unknown facts about this disease that a very few people are familiar about.
1. Hypertension isn’t inevitable — but blood pressure climbs as you age
A blood pressure check measures the force of blood pushing against the artery walls as the heart pumps blood. This pressure normally rises and falls throughout the day, but when it stays high over time, it’s called high blood pressure — a chronic medical condition that damages arteries and requires the heart to work harder than normal to circulate blood to the organs.
Some of us may never develop high blood pressure. But most people see an increase in the upper number, systolic blood pressure, starting around age 40. About 7 percent of Americans ages 18 to 39 have hypertension, defined as blood pressure that is 140/90 or higher. That incidence climbs to 32 percent among those ages 40 to 59, and 65 percent for Americans 60-plus. Part of the reason: Arteries tend to stiffen with age.
2. Experts don’t agree on what the ideal systolic blood pressure should be
Researchers are still debating the ideal blood-pressure target for people over 50. Until recently, the best evidence suggested that a reasonable target was systolic blood pressure below 140 millimeters of mercury, or less than 150 for people over 60. A September 2015 report from the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial, or SPRINT, toppled that advice.
In the randomized trial of more than 9,300 people at high risk of heart disease or who already had kidney disease, nearly 30 percent of whom were age 75 or older, researchers compared one group of volunteers with systolic blood pressure of 140 to another group that aggressively lowered theirs to 120. People in the 120 group were one-third less likely to suffer heart failure, a nonfatal heart attack or a
stroke during the five-year trial.
3. Even dangerously high blood pressure often has no symptoms
Your blood pressure can be through the roof, and the only way you might know it is by getting it checked. Getting a reliable reading, though, can be tricky. Blood pressure numbers can vary 30 to 40 points through the day typically falling at night and surging in the morning. It can even spike just because you’re having your blood pressure measured, a phenomenon called ‘white coat hypertension.’ The gold standard for recording blood pressure is a 24-hour test that measures pressure three or four times an hour during the day and every 30 minutes at night.
4. Healthy lifestyle changes can work as well as a pill
Cutting back on salt and eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can drop high blood pressure by about 5 points. Losing weight also helps. Dropping 11 pounds can shave off more than 4 points from your systolic blood pressure, studies show. In a 2016 review, Swedish researchers found that physical activity can reduce systolic pressure by an average of 11 points in people with hypertension.
5. Sticking with treatment is crucial
A combination of lifestyle changes and medication is usually enough to bring your numbers down out of the danger zone. But once you hit the target, it’s essential to go on taking your pills and following healthier habits. Too many people get lazy about taking blood pressure medications. Or they stop taking them if they think they’re having side effects. If you go off your medications, your blood pressure will go back up. Since systolic blood pressure typically rises with age, it’s also important to monitor your blood pressure regularly. Most people with high blood pressure need to adjust their medications periodically.