Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a common condition that affects the arteries. One of the most frightening things about it is that you may not be aware that you have it because hypertension doesn’t have distinctive symptoms. This article will outline everything you need to know about this condition.
How Is Hypertension Measured?
Hypertension is defined as the amount of pressure applied on artery walls as blood flows through them. Two measurements are used to calculate blood pressure – systolic and diastolic pressure. They are expressed in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). Ideal blood pressure is around 120/80mmHg. However, people with hypertension have a sustained blood pressure of 140/90mmHg or higher.
How Common Is Hypertension?
Hypertension is a widespread condition. Estimates show that over 18% of men and 13% of women have high blood pressure. In most cases, there isn’t a single reason that can explain these numbers. However, most evidence points out that lifestyle can play a massive role.
The most significant risk factors include advanced age, being overweight, lack of exercise, and excessive alcohol consumption. Additionally, some ethnic groups (Afro-Caribbean and South Asian) are more likely to develop high blood pressure.
Negative Effects of Hypertension
Hypertension can increase the development speed of cardiovascular diseases such as strokes and heart attacks. Both conditions are pretty severe. When the blood supply gets interrupted, your heart or brain can cease functioning.
Treatment and Prevention of Hypertension
The most significant change anyone can make to lower the risk of high blood pressure is to ensure a healthy and stress-free lifestyle. This can be achieved by introducing a few simple changes. For example, eating healthy, exercising regularly, and reducing the amount of alcohol will make a positive impact. Alternatively, prescription medication can help to lower your blood pressure.