The ONE organ responsible for high blood pressure.
Understanding High Blood Pressure In Men
Stress-related habits such as eating more, using tobacco or drinking alcohol can lead to further increases in blood pressure. Certain chronic conditions. Certain chronic conditions also may increase your risk of high blood pressure, including kidney disease, diabetes and sleep apnea.
Hypertension in menSimply put, blood pressure is the pressure your blood puts on the walls of your blood vessels as it circulates through the body. It is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm/Hg) and is recorded as one number over another. As a refresher, the first number is the systolic pressure—the pressure when your heart beats. The second number is the diastolic pressure and is a measurement of pressure in between beats. A good blood pressure would be below 120/80 mm Hg. When it goes above 130/80, you are considered stage 1 hypertensive. Stage 2 hypertension would be 140/90 and above. Dr. Hatch notes that blood pressure always fluctuates, and it can increase with stress or during exercise. You probably wouldn’t be diagnosed with high blood pressure until after you have been checked a few times. For men, the bad news is they are more likely to be found hypertensive than women.
Dr. Hatch says the risk factors that cannot be changed include:
- Gender—men are more likely to develop hypertension than women
- Race—African-Americans have higher risk than other races
- Age—the older you get the more likely you will develop high blood pressure
- Family history—Dr. Hatch notes high blood pressure is twice as common in people with 1 or 2 hypertensive parents
- Chronic kidney disease—people with chronic kidney disease are at a greater risk for high blood pressure
Additionally, there are some risk factors that you can control. Those include:
- An unhealthy diet that is also high in sodium
- Not exercising
- Being overweight
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Smoking or using tobacco
- Having diabetes
Hypertension treatmentOnce a man is diagnosed with hypertension, he will need to get treatment. Dr. Hatch says leaving high blood pressure untreated can cause kidney disease, coronary artery disease, lung disease, heart failure and stroke. It’s also one of the biggest contributors to cardiovascular disease and peripheral artery disease, according to Dr. Hatch. Dr. Hatch says a key component to treating hypertension is making lifestyle changes, such as diet, weight loss and exercise. Dr. Hatch recommends the DASH diet, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.
“You should start with DASH diet and address risk factors,” Dr. Hatch said. “The DASH diet substitutes magnesium and potassium for saturated fat, sodium and sugar. Everyone should be doing this.”With stage 1 hypertension, you can expect your doctor to recommend changing your diet, losing weight and exercise. Dr. Hatch says this alone can have a good impact on your blood pressure, but he estimates that around 80% of his patients still need medication to help. Once you’ve been diagnosed with stage 2 hypertension, your doctor will recommend lifestyle changes and medication. Some of the medications your doctor may consider include diuretics, calcium channel blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs). In some cases where the patient has certain diseases, a doctor will automatically prescribe medications. Dr. Hatch notes these diseases include diabetes, chronic kidney disease and cardiovascular disease.