Could you be the one in five people who has high blood pressure without knowing it? You may ask what symptoms you should look out for to know if you have high blood pressure, or hypertension. However, the scariest thing about hypertension is that it usually has no symptoms. Furthermore, a recent study found that more intensive lowering of systolic blood pressure could save over 100,000 early deaths each year.
When looking at blood pressure numbers, the bottom number represents systolic pressure, while the top number represents diastolic pressure. Systolic pressure shows how much pressure your heart is exerting during heartbeats. On the other hand, the diastolic pressure shows how much pressure your heart is exerting between heartbeats.
Knowing Your Numbers
It is important to keep track of your blood pressure numbers to know if you are at risk for hypertension. According to the American Heart Association, a healthy blood pressure number is 120/80 mmHg. However, once this number starts to rise, a person climbs into the pre-hypertension range. Furthermore, when your number moves up to around 140/90 mmHg and above, you become hypertensive. It is at this point when you should see your healthcare provider for advice on any medications or lifestyle changes you can make to help improve your numbers.
Lowering Systolic Pressure Could Save Lives
A study by researchers at Loyola University Chicago looked at the effects of intensive systolic pressure lowering treatment on hypertensive adults over the age of 50 years. Each person in the study received at least two hypertensive medicines. Patients were observed over several years. It was found that when blood pressure was lowered to less than 120/80 versus less than 140/90, there was a 27-percent reduction in mortality from all causes. In other words, for every 300 people given this intensive treatment over one year, one life would be saved. When considering that around 18 million people would qualify for this treatment, it could save around 107,500 lives each year.
Therefore, check your blood pressure at least once a year. Check your numbers more often if you have a family history of hypertension or other risk factors such as obesity or being a smoker. If you are pre-hypertensive and are not currently on a heart healthy regimen or medication treatment, see your healthcare provider for assistance. Simple changes to your lifestyle such as reducing sodium intake and walking for 30 minutes a day can improve your numbers.
In addition, natural treatments may also help to support lower blood pressure numbers. Presura from Vitasciences contains natural ingredients such as Hawthorn Berry, Niacin, and Garlic Extract that work together to decrease pressure against the walls of blood vessels. Visit Vitasciences today to get more information on Presura and how it can be a great addition to your heart healthy lifestyle.
-Staci Gulbin, MS, MEd, RD, LDN
American Heart Association (2016 Oct) “Understanding Blood Pressure Readings” http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/GettheFactsAboutHighBloodPressure/Understanding-Blood-Pressure-Readings_UCM_301764_Article.jsp#.WLPQvoWcHIU
American Heart Association (2016 Oct) “Why High Blood Pressure is a ‘Silent Killer'” http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/UnderstandSymptomsRisks/Why-High-Blood-Pressure-is-a-Silent-Killer_UCM_002053_Article.jsp#.WLPRO4WcHIU
Loyola University Health System (2017 Feb 23) “Intensive lowering of systolic blood pressure could prevent 107,500 early deaths per year.” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/02/170223092400.htm
Mayo Clinic (2016 Sept 9) “High Blood Pressure (Hypertension): Risk Factors” http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/basics/risk-factors/con-20019580