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10 facts about hypertension



People with high blood pressure (hypertension) are at higher risk for a variety of medical conditions, including heart failure and stroke. Despite the serious health threats, hypertension often goes unnoticed or untreated by some patients. From high blood pressure symptoms to what they are considered normal, here are some facts about the disease.

. 1 High blood pressure symptoms are sometimes imperceptible.

Blood pressure is a measure of the blood power that moves through the circulatory system. High blood pressure, a condition in which blood overstretches arteries and organs, is often referred to as a "silent killer". It contributes to hundreds of thousands of deaths each year, but only half of those with high blood pressure know they have it. In most cases, signs of hypertension are difficult to detect, making the diagnosis difficult and under control. Chest pain, dizziness, shortness of breath and palpitations are some of the common signs of high blood pressure in people who show symptoms.

. 2 Anxiety causes some of the same symptoms as hypertension.

When dealing with high blood pressure symptoms, mental health is just as important as physical health. Anxiety can lead to sudden spikes in blood pressure, and frequent spikes can damage the heart and blood vessels in the same way as chronically high blood pressure levels. Stress and anxiety also make people susceptible to the highest risk factors associated with chronic hypertension, such as smoking, excessive drinking and overeating.

. 3 A normal blood pressure range is lower than before.

If you have not had blood pressure for several years, it's time for a check-up: In November 201

7, the American College of Cardiology and The American Heart Association updated their normal blood pressure guidelines. The two components that make up the blood pressure are the systolic pressure – the pressure in the blood vessels, represented by the upper number in the test results – and the diastolic pressure, the pressure in the heart between the beats, represented by the lower number. Under the old guidelines, the threshold for normal blood pressure was 140 systolic pressure and 90 diastolic pressure, or 140/90. The new guidelines lowered this marker to 130/80. Now that the normal blood pressure has dropped, 14 percent more people in the US have been diagnosed with hypertension

4. "White hypertension disease" is real.

Not every patient who has high blood pressure signs in the doctor's office has high blood pressure. "White hypertension disease" occurs when patients become nervous in a medical setting, leading to an increase in blood pressure that does not necessarily reflect actual health. But this type of hypertension should be taken seriously, even if it is a product of nerves. According to a study, people with white coat hypertension have a greater chance of developing cardiovascular disease than people with normal blood pressure. This may be because people with white coat hypertension are more anxious.

. 5 People with high blood pressure should consume less than a teaspoon of salt per day.

If you suffer from high blood pressure, one of the worst things you need to eat is salt with a high salt content. Sodium, which accounts for 40 percent of saline (sodium chloride), promotes water retention in the body. More water means more blood volume, which puts extra pressure on the heart and blood vessels. Medical experts recommend consuming no more than 2300 mg of sodium per day or just over 1 teaspoon of salt. If you have high blood pressure, the American Heart Association recommends an ideal limit of 1500 milligrams of sodium per day – equivalent to three-quarters of a teaspoon of salt.

. 6 Almost half of adults in the US have high blood pressure …

According to the American Heart Association, more than 100 million people in the US have high blood pressure – that's almost half of American adults. The condition is so general that even if you do not have it now, chances are you'll develop it sometime in your life. The lifetime risk in the US for hypertension in 90 percent.

. 7 … and black Americans are hardest hit.

Hypertension affects certain groups disproportionately. Black Americans have higher blood pressure than any other group in the country, and when they develop, they are usually heavier. High blood pressure also affects black Americans earlier in life: Three out of four blacks in the US will develop this condition at the age of 55. Health experts believe that the prevalence of high blood pressure is related to higher obesity rates and diabetes in the black population.

. 8 A female hormone can protect against hypertension.

High blood pressure rates are quite similar in men and women before middle age. However, when women get into menopause, their chances of getting high blood pressure increase: 75 percent of postmenopausal women in the US have high blood pressure. This may have something to do with decreased levels of estrogen – a hormone proven to stimulate the vascular health of pre-menopausal women.

. 9 High blood pressure can be life-threatening …

High blood pressure does not kill people directly, but it can lead to deadly complications. Hypertension potentially adds lethal stress to vital organs such as the heart, kidneys and brain. High blood pressure increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, chronic heart failure, kidney disease and even blindness considerably.

10th … but improved with medicines and healthy living.

The best way to lower your blood pressure is to change your lifestyle. Smoking, drinking too much alcohol, and consuming too much salty food increases the risk of high blood pressure. Doctors recommend avoiding these risk factors to keep blood pressure under control. Regular exercise and certain medications such as diuretics (to remove excess water in the body) and ACE inhibitors (which inhibit an enzyme that tightens blood vessels) can also lower blood pressure.


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