Blood pressure: know the facts By: Hugh Wilson

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muhammadmohsinali
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Blood pressure: know the facts By: Hugh Wilson

Post by muhammadmohsinali » Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:54 pm

You probably don't give too much thought to your blood pressure. After all, your dad or granddad might have had problems with it, but they're in middle age and beyond. High blood pressure (also known as hypertension) is an old man's disease.Except it's not. High blood pressure hardly ever used to be diagnosed in people in their 20s, but now there are more cases than ever. It's no longer uncommon for men in their 30s to be treated for high blood pressure."The fact is that men develop high blood pressure earlier than women and get it more," says Professor Graham MacGregor, chairman of the Blood Pressure Association (BPA). "It's probably because they eat more salt, but there are other factors too."That's why it's worth knowing about blood pressure - what it is, what your numbers should be and how to make sure they stay healthy. Here are the facts.What is blood pressure? Blood pressure is, as you might expect, the pressure of your pumping blood on the walls of blood vessels. If it's too high, it can cause damage to arteries and even your heart.More men than women suffer from high blood pressure and it's becoming more common in younger age groups. Altogether, BPA figures say that one in three adults in the UK has high blood pressure and one in three of them don't know they have it.But the situation might be even worse than that. According to a survey last year by Lloyds Pharmacy, a worrying 35% of those aged 16-34 have hypertension, and almost one in 20 of them showed severe or very severe raised blood pressure. Experts put the results down to binge drinking and bad diets.How do you know if your blood pressure is too high? The simple answer is that you probably don't. Hypertension is one of those sneaky ailments that don't tend to produce symptoms until real damage has been done.Of course, you might have had your blood pressure taken during a routine visit to the GP. If you have, the figures you're looking for, according to the BPA, are 120/80. If your blood pressure is below 120 over 80 you have a far lower risk of the medical problems high blood pressure can cause. Any higher and you're starting to up your risks.If you don't know your numbers, you can at least be aware of some of the factors that cause high blood pressure. It's the usual culprits, we're afraid. If you're overweight, drink too much, eat too much salt and too few portions of fruit and veg, and exercise too little, you are at increased risk of developing hypertension.What problems does high blood pressure cause?High blood pressure is known as the chief culprit in strokes, and a major cause of heart attacks, heart failure and kidney disease. Clearly, these are major medical problems and, as we've said, you usually don't have any symptoms with hypertension until damage has already been done. That's why it's sometimes known as a 'silent killer'."Approximately 62,000 unnecessary deaths from stroke and heart attacks occur due to poor blood pressure control," says the BPA.Of course, if you're 30 years old, you're not at great risk of a heart attack. But you could be storing up damage for the future, and developing a lifestyle that is likely to drive your blood pressure even higher a few years down the line.And there's another potential problem that might just grab your attention. According to research from specialists at the University of Athens in Greece, men with high blood pressure are two and a half times more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction than men with normal blood pressure. That's right: it might not be brewer's droop, after all.What can you do about high blood pressure?First off, if you're concerned, nip to the GP for a quick test. Professor MacGregor of the BPA believes men who have a family history of high blood pressure, strokes or heart attacks should routinely have their blood pressure checked from the age of 20.And if the usual culprits cause high blood pressure, it's the usual culprits you have to tackle. Start an exercise regime (gently, if you haven't exercised in a while), eat more healthily and cut down on the booze - nobody says you have to stop altogether.Salt is a major factor in high blood pressure so put less in your cooking. But the real culprits are ready meals, eating out and takeaways, and processed food.Everything from pub pies to breakfast cereals have been found to contain high levels of salt, so it's wise to get into the habit of checking salt levels in foods before you buy them.Finally, the evidence is patchy but some doctors think that anger has a part to play in high blood pressure, particularly anger that has no escape. If you regularly boil inside but keep a calm exterior, you could be increasing your risk of developing high blood pressure.So if you've had a frustrating day at work, taking it out on the treadmill or a punch bag in the garage is healthy in all sorts of ways.Low blood pressureFor every yin there's a yang. But in this case, the opposite of hypertension - hypotension - is rarely anything to worry about.Occasionally blood pressure can fall to a level that leaves you feeling faint, in which case it's worth getting it checked out by a doctor. But often low blood pressure is good news, because the lower your blood pressure, the lower your risk of stroke or heart disease.The rubIf you're concerned about your blood pressure, see your GP. But if you're a young man the good news is this: doing all the stuff that will give you more energy and leave you feeling in tip-top shape will also keep your blood pressure at a healthy level.Which means the silent killer won't be creeping up on you.


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Re: Blood pressure: know the facts By: Hugh Wilson

Post by zafar3202 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:46 pm

Hmmmmmmmmm
“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”

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Re: Blood pressure: know the facts By: Hugh Wilson

Post by ishaali » Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:56 am

Genetics and lifestyle contribute evenly to hypertension – knowing your genetic risk of hypertension can put you on a path to preventing high blood pressureBlood pressure is the force of blood against the walls of arteriesBlood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries. It is measured in mmHg (millimeters of mercury) and recorded as two numbers: * Systolic pressure is the higher number, representing the pressure in the arteries as the heart contracts and pumps blood into the system. * Diastolic pressure is the lower number, representing the pressure in the arteries when the heart relaxes between beats.These two numbers combined provide doctors with information about how forcefully the heart pumps blood around the body and to some extent, how much resistance there is in the arteries. High systolic or diastolic pressure can be an indication of a disease called hypertension or high blood pressure.Normal blood pressure in adults is 120/80 mmHg or lessNormal blood pressure in adults is less than 120 mmHg systolic and less than 80 mmHg diastolic (written as 120/80 mmHg or 120 over 80). Although normal blood pressure for an individual can vary somewhat with height, weight, fitness level, age, and general health, the American Heart Association has, on the basis of extensive research, defined blood pressure categories according to how much risk they entail for developing other diseases associated with the wear and tear of prolonged elevated blood pressure.The chart below shows the blood pressure categories defined by the American Heart Association, listed by order of increasing risk:Blood Pressure Systolic Diastolic (higher number) (lower number) Category Normal < 120 mmHg and < 80 mmHgPre-hypertension 120 – 139 mmHg or 80 – 89 mmHgHypertensionStage1 140 – 159 mmHg or 90 – 99 mmHgHypertensionStage2 > 160 mmHg or > 100 mmHgHypertensivecrisis > 180 mmHg or > 110 mmHgHypertension often has no warning signs or symptomsHypertension is defined as blood pressure of 140/90 mmHg or above on three consecutive measurements at least six hours apart. Blood pressure this high is a risk factor for many diseases. Over time, the increased workload on the heart weakens it and contributes to atherosclerosis (the thickening of the arteries due to fat and cholesterol depositions), thereby increasing the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke, which are among the leading causes of death in the United States. High blood pressure can also lead to other conditions, such as heart failure, kidney disease, and blindness. High blood pressure is especially dangerous because it often has no obvious warning signs or symptoms and can therefore remain undiagnosed and untreated long enough to cause damage.High blood pressure is common, but too often goes undetectedAn estimated 1 billion people worldwide have hypertension, and this number is expected to increase to 1.56 billion people by the year 2025. This translates to about 1 in 4 adults being afflicted with hypertension worldwide. Currently, about 1 in 3 Americans are thought to have hypertension, and a third of them probably do not know it.In most cases the cause of hypertension is unknownHypertension is generally classified as primary or secondary hypertension. Secondary hypertension is defined as a side-effect of some other identified medical condition, such as kidney disease, Cushing’s syndrome, pregnancy, oral contraceptive use, chronic alcohol abuse, or the use of certain medications. However, only 5% of people with hypertension fall into this category. The remaining 95% have primary or essential hypertension that is not attributable to some other known medical condition. While the specific causes of primary hypertension are not known, genetic factors and certain lifestyle factors, such as body weight and salt intake are thought to contribute.People with a family history of hypertension are at increased riskThose at greatest risk for developing hypertension are people who are overweight, with a family history of high blood pressure, and those with higher than normal blood pressure (i.e. pre-hypertension). Hypertension is more common in males than in females and African Americans tend to develop high blood pressure earlier in life and more often than individuals of European descent. Blood pressure tends to increase with age in most people, but hypertension should not be considered a part of healthy aging. Although primary hypertension cannot be cured, it is easily detected and in most cases preventable and controllable with medication and lifestyle changes.Genetics and high blood pressureIt is generally accepted that genetics and the environment contribute evenly to hypertension. However, estimates regarding the importance of genetic factors in hypertension (heritability estimates) vary considerably among populations, from as low as 15% to as high as 70%. This variation reflects both genetic differences among populations (for example African-American vs. Europeans) and differences in lifestyle that interact with genes to cause hypertension.Currently, more than 30 genes are being investigated as potential candidates for affecting differential risk of hypertension. Due to the complexity of blood pressure regulation and the multiple coordinated systems affected in individuals with hypertension, it may take years for scientists to find every gene that is involved.http://www.decodeme.com/hypertension

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