High blood pressure is a prevalent health condition affecting millions worldwide. It occurs when the force of blood against the artery walls is unusually high and strains your cardiovascular system. In this article, we will cover all you need to know about high blood pressure including its symptoms, factors, and long-term effects on your health.
What Is High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure, or hypertension, happens when the force of blood pressing against the walls of your arteries gets too high. This causes your heart to work harder and can seriously damage your arteries. Over time, uncontrolled high blood pressure can increase your risk of stroke, heart disease, and kidney disease.
What Are The Symptoms of High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure is often considered a silent killer because it does not always have outward symptoms. This means you can have it for years without knowing. If left treated, it can silently damage your heart, blood vessels, lungs, kidneys, and brain. It is also a major cause of heart attacks and strokes in the United States.
What Do Your Blood Pressure Numbers Mean?
Your normal blood pressure readings will fall below 120/80. If it goes higher than this, it could indicate hypertension. The top number (systolic) shows the pressure when your heart beats, while the lower number (diastolic) measures pressure at rest between heartbeats when your heart refills with blood.
Is Elevated Blood Pressure A Good Warning Sign?
Elevated blood pressure is consistently just above the normal level. It can fall between 120 and 129 for systolic pressure and less than 80 for diastolic pressure. Individuals in this range have a higher chance of getting heart disease than those with a lower reading. To get this number down, you can consult your doctor on possible lifestyle changes you can make.
Who Gets High Blood Pressure?
By the age of 45, men are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure than women. However, things even up as you get older and it’s more common in women by age 65. You are also more likely to get it if a close family member has it or you have diabetes. That said, its cause remains mostly unknown.
There is no obvious factor that causes high blood pressure, but you can reduce your chances of developing it by monitoring your stress levels and sticking to a healthy diet.