Saturday, March 12, 2016

Why Prehypertension Should Not Be Ignored?

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a risk factor for heart disease, stroke, congestive heart failure, and kidney disease. As such, making sure one’s blood pressure falls within the desired level is paramount. High blood pressure usually do not cause any symptoms. That is why it is also called the silent killer. According to survey, two-third of people with high blood pressure do not have it under control.

Desired blood pressure level is less than 120/80 mmHg. The top number (systolic pressure) measures the force from the heart as it contracts and the bottom number (diastolic pressure) indicates the pressure in the arteries when the heart relaxes between contractions.

Once a person’s reading exceeds 140/90, he or she is having high blood pressure. The higher the blood pressure, the harder the heart has to work and more wear and tear on the blood vessels. When a person’s blood pressure readings fall between 120/80 and 139/89, he or she is considered to have prehypertension. The blood pressure category is determined by higher number either the systolic or diastolic measurement. For instance, if a person’s systolic number is 115 but the diastolic number is 85, then this person is said to have prehypertension. This also means that though this person does not have high blood pressure yet, he or she is more likely to develop it in the future.

A new study conducted by American researchers reported that even though young people who have blood pressure of below 140/90 but at the high end of the normal range were still have a higher risk of developing heart disease some years later. These people should start watching their diet, exercising, and even taking medicines. The study covered 2,479 young adults over 25 years and their finding were published June 9, 2015 in ‘Journal of The American College of Cardiology’.

The study found that participants with high diastolic readings were 70 percent more likely than those with the lowest reading, of getting a treatment-resistant form of heart failure where the heart muscle is unable to relax. Some patients in the study had high-normal blood pressure in their 20s and 30s, and by the time they were 45, they had the heart function of a 75-year-old. The study, therefore, suggested that blood pressure control in early young adulthood might be essential to prevent coronary heart disease.

It is possible to prevent hypertension and prehypertension. People with these conditions can lower their blood pressure by adopting healthy diet and regular physical activity. For people who are obese or overweight, they should seek ways to lose weight. Smokers should quit smoking and alcohol drinkers should limit to one drink per day. Reducing stress can be helpful, too. If all these lifestyle changes cannot lower blood pressure, then they should see their doctor who might prescribe medicines for them.

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