High blood pressure or hypertension is a leading cause of death in the United States. In this article, I will discuss some facts on high blood pressure and how you can prevent hypertension or complications. What is considered high blood pressure?
High Blood Pressure: 28 Facts You Need to Know
Having high blood pressure puts you at risk for several diseases and organ failure. In fact, heart attacks and strokes account for half of the United States deaths according to Centers for Disease Control. High blood pressure has no symptoms most of the time. This is why it is called the silent killer.
Untreated high blood pressure can ruin the organs such as the brain, eyes, heart, and kidneys.
Normal blood pressure is 120/80. However, the range for blood pressure is less than 120/80-140/90.
Systolic Blood Pressure
Blood pressure has two numbers: Systolic and Diastolic. Systolic number is the maximum force that the heart exerts on the arteries each time it beats. The systolic is the top number.
The elevation of the systolic blood pressure predicts the risk of a stroke.
Diastolic Blood Pressure
The diastolic reading, or the bottom number, is the pressure in the arteries when the heart rests between beats. This is the time when the heart fills with blood and gets oxygen. Normal diastolic blood pressure is lower than 80. A reading of 90 or higher means you have high blood pressure. A high diastolic blood pressure is quite concerning.
The Blood Pressure Chart
The American Cardiology Association created a new blood pressure chart. The chart created new normal blood pressure guidelines. These guidelines are for your doctor to treat your hypertension. These guidelines also give suggestions for blood pressure by age.
High Blood Pressure
There are several risk factors for high blood pressure. Some of these risk factors you can change and some you cant.
High blood pressure is the force of blood as it goes through the arteries.
Blood pressure consist of systolic and diastolic numbers. The systolic number is the maximum pressure your heart exerts while beating.
Diastolic blood pressure is your heart at rest. Your health depends on whether you have a good blood pressure or not. The normal blood pressure is 120/80.
One risk factor of hypertension I want to talk about is heart disease. Heart disease affects 1 in 3 adults in America. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women, and all ethnic groups according to the Centers or Disease Control.
It is estimated that 700,000 people die from heart disease each year.
Coronary Artery Disease
Coronary artery disease is the most common form of heart disease killing 400,000 per year. Although coronary artery disease affects majority the elderly population, we are seeing people as young as 20 with coronary artery disease or CAD.
Heart disease is sometimes referred to as a “lifestyle or diet” disease.
- Strokes and heart attacks account for over half of the deaths in the United States. A heart attack is often the first sign that a person has hypertension. When the heart has to work harder, the heart muscle gets weak.
- Hypertension frequently does not have symptoms. Sometimes, people have a headache, nosebleed or have dizziness.
- In 2018, 500,000 deaths was attributed to high blood pressure as a primary cause or a contributing cause.
- The number one cause of pregnant women delivering early is high blood pressure. Once the blood pressure readings are over 140/90, the health care provider will prescribe medications and monitor the patient closely. During pregnancy, your body will make extra blood to help the growing baby. Therefore, your risk of high blood pressure will increase.
- High blood pressure is increased by insomnia or not having enough sleep. It is important to get at ,least 8 hours of sleep.
- Age is a factor that we cant change. Elderly people tend to have a higher pressure. Although now we are seeing high blood pressure in younger people.
- Stress can literally kill you. Stress produces a hormone that causes your pressure to rise. Keep that stress under control.
- There are different stages of high blood pressure: From normal to hypertensive crisis.
- Sometimes the treatment consists of 3 or more medications.
- Salt or sodium raises some people’s pressure, especially African- American population. Canned food or processed food is the worst for people who are salt sensitive.
- A diet high in vegetables and low sugar fruit will help decrease blood pressure. These foods are high in magnesium and potassium. The heart loves these minerals.
- Try to exercise and move your body. Exercising has been proven to decrease blood pressure. You only need 30 minutes a day.
- The leading cause of renal failure and dialysis is high blood pressure.
- The cause of most hypertension is unknown. This is called essential hypertension.
- High blood pressure affects African-Americans 5 times more than Caucasians.
- Low socioeconomic status is a strong predictor of hypertension.
- People with salt sensitivity should aim for 1500mg of sodium a day.
- Alcohol increases some people’s blood pressure. Alcohol also depletes the body of magnesium and thiamine. As we know, the heart needs magnesium and thiamine.
- If you are smoking any kind of tobacco, you need to quit immediately.
- If you have high blood pressure that does not respond, you should get an apnea test. Sleep apnea will cause high blood pressure.
- Obesity has been strongly linked to high blood pressure. Two-third of black men are overweight or obese. Clearly, lifestyle modification is key.
- A stressful lifestyle has been associated with increased pressure. Learn how to cope with stressful events in your life. The stress can take a toll on your life.
- Pregnancy takes a toll on your body. To avoid high blood pressure in pregnancy, you should watch your weight and diet.
- The DASH diet provides 30 days of healthy for high blood pressure.
- The Cardiology Association created a blood pressure chart by age and height.
- The DASH Diet plan provides 30 days of breakfast ideas.
- High blood pressure untreated is dangerous. If you consistently get a reading over 140/90, you need to be evaluated by a health care provider.
- Diabetes and high blood pressure usually go hand in hand. Getting diabetes under control will usually drop the blood pressure.
Untreated high blood pressure is dangerous. It can lead to organ damage. The good news is that high blood is easily treated.
My name is Phyllis Robinson MSN, RN. I have been a Registered Nurse for 27 years in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit. I am passionate about cardiac care and heart disease. I also want this blog to be an educational tool that people can refer to for traditional and alternative treatment. I will blog on heart disorders such as high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy, and high cholesterol.
I received my Nursing degree from Baltimore Community College.
I went on to receive my Masters in Nursing from Walden University
I have worked for almost 30 years in Critical Care with a focus on heart health. I am an advocate of preventive healthcare.