The ONE organ responsible for high blood pressure.
What are the factors that affect hypertension?
What is high blood pressure?
What do blood pressure numbers mean?Systolic blood pressure, the top number, measures the force the heart exerts on the walls of the arteries each time it beats. Diastolic blood pressure, the bottom number, measures the force the heart exerts on the walls of the arteries in between beats. Normal pressure is 120/80 or lower. Your blood pressure is high (stage 1) if it reads 130/80. Stage 2 high blood pressure is 140/90 or higher. If you get a blood pressure reading of 180/110 or higher more than once, seek medical treatment right away. A reading this high is considered a “hypertensive crisis.” Readings between 120/80 and 129/89 are considered pre-hypertension. People with pre-hypertension do not have blood pressure as low as it should be but are not yet considered to have high blood pressure.
Why is it important to know if you have high blood pressure?Early detection of high blood pressure is very important. Often referred to as the “silent killer” because it may show no symptoms. High blood pressure puts you at an increased risk for heart disease, heart failure, and stroke, among other things.
How can you manage your high blood pressure?Treatment of high blood pressure often starts with lifestyle changes which includes:
- decreasing salt in your diet
- losing weight if necessary
- stopping smoking
- cutting down on alcohol use
- regular exercise.
What is the alarming level of blood pressure?Your blood pressure is high (stage 1) if it reads 130/80. Stage 2 high blood pressure is 140/90 or higher. If you get a blood pressure reading of 180/110 or higher more than once, seek medical treatment right away. A reading this high is considered a “hypertensive crisis.”
Factors that influence blood pressure
- The general pattern is that blood pressure rises with age, so normal variations tend to be higher for older adults.
- Blood pressure is similar in childhood for males and females. After puberty, females have a lower blood pressure than males, whereas after menopause females have a higher blood pressure than males.
- Research has revealed that ethnicity may be a predictor of blood pressure, but this causation is not necessarily biological, but rather sociocultural.
- The diurnal cycle influences blood pressure to be lower in the morning and increase throughout the day until early evening.
- Blood pressure can be higher in people who are obese because the heart has to work harder to perfuse the body’s tissues.
- The sympathetic nervous system is stimulated by exercise, stress, anxiety, pain, anger, and fear, which increases blood pressure.
- Blood pressure varies throughout the duration of pregnancy. It decreases about halfway through the first trimester until mid-pregnancy due to progesterone effects that relax the walls of blood vessels, causing decreased peripheral vascular resistance. It returns to pre-pregnancy values toward the end of pregnancy.