The force of the blood against the artery walls is known as blood pressure. Throughout the day, blood pressure changes. High blood pressure is characterised by a persistently higher blood pressure level.

Hypertension is the medical term for elevated blood pressure. Because it makes the heart work too hard and causes atherosclerosis, high blood pressure is dangerous (hardening of the arteries). Heart disease and stroke, the first- and third-leading causes of mortality, are both made more likely by it. In addition to these diseases, high blood pressure can lead to blindness, renal damage, and congestive heart failure. Risk factors are circumstances or actions that raise your risk of contracting a disease. Your risk of acquiring heart disease increases significantly if you have multiple heart disease risk factors. Therefore, if you have high blood pressure, you must act.

Risk factors you can control:

– High blood pressure

– Abnormal cholesterol

– Tobacco use

– Diabetes

– Overweight

– Physical inactivity

Risk factors beyond your control:

– Age (55 or older for men; 65 or older for women)

– Family history of early heart disease (having a father or

brother diagnosed with heart disease before age 55 or having a mother or sister diagnosed before age 65)

High blood pressure is defined as 140/90 mmHg or greater. A little more than two thirds of those over 65 have high blood pressure. You have prehypertension if your blood pressure is between 120/80 mmHg and 139/89 mmHg. This indicates that even though you don’t now have high blood pressure, you’re likely to do so in the future if you don’t start making healthy lifestyle adjustments. A person’s lifetime risk of acquiring high blood pressure is 90% greater if they do not already have it at age 55. Therefore, the majority of people will experience high blood pressure at some point in their lives.

Although both readings in a blood pressure test are significant, systolic pressure provides the most reliable diagnosis of high blood pressure in persons aged 50 and older. The highest number in a blood pressure reading is the systolic pressure. If it is 140 mmHg or higher, it is high.

Even if you do not have high blood pressure, these steps are still highly important

– Maintain a healthy weight

– Be physically active

– Follow a healthy eating plan

– Eat foods with less sodium (salt)

– Drink alcohol only in moderation

– Take prescribed drugs as directed

Contact Dr. Barbara Karin Vela today to schedule an appointment.