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April 23, 2009 at 4:06 PMComments: 1 Faves: 0

How Long Will You Live with High Blood Pressure?

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author

Living with High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is considered one of the main vital signs of the body, as it is the force exerted by circulating blood on the walls of blood vessels. The pumping of blood from arteries to capillaries allows for fluid exchange between the blood and body tissue. However, blood pressure can be affected by certain factors including genetics, age, weight, heavy salt intake, or sleep apnea.

High blood pressure is defined as blood pressure that reads at or above 140/90 mm/Hg. A normal blood pressure is defined as blood pressure reading below 120/80mm/Hg. Due to the danger that hypertension presents, it can reduce a person's life expectancy if not caught in time and properly treated once diagnosed.

Hypertension is a condition that creates high blood pressure by pumping too much blood into the arteries. Although one in three adults in the U.S. have hypertension, the majority are not aware of their condition, as it shows no signs of symptoms. Hypertension is often detected once serious damage has been caused to vital organs such as the heart and arteries. However, there are ways to counteract its effects and treat the condition.

How High Blood Pressure Reduces Life Expectancy

According to research based on data from a long-running U.S. heart health study, having high blood pressure can take years off both life expectancy and the time that is lived free of disease. Researchers have found that having high blood pressure at the age of fifty is responsible for cutting off an average of five years from both men's and women's lives. Further, it caused them to endure up to seven more years with cardiovascular disease compared to adults who had normal blood pressure in middle age.

Complications from High Blood Pressure

Having high blood pressure can cause several medical related problems. Among the following medical concerns are:

  • Increased risk for stroke
  • Risk of heart attack
  • Risk of heart failure
  • Risk of kidney failure

As high blood pressure usually doesn't exhibit any early warning signs or symptoms, it is often referred to as the silent killer.

Make Simple Changes to Guard Against High Blood Pressure

Life expectancy for someone with hypertension is dependent upon several factors, including a person's current health and how serious someone is about proper health care. Medical Experts advise several changes to help keep blood pressure in check:

  • Maintain a normal weight
  • Exercise regularly
  • Abstain from smoking
  • Eat a diet with high amounts of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains
  • Moderate salt intake
  • Moderate alcohol intake

Monitor the Condition

You can monitor high blood pressure at home and provide a blood pressure log for the doctor on your next visit. If given permission from a physician or other healthcare provider, check to see what kind of equipment should be used and get approval for any purchased equipment. It is also important to remember not to substitute home treatment for a regular professional evaluation.

Sources:

http://hypertension.medicweb.org/basic_facts/blood_pressure.php

http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=2114

http://www.news-medical.net/?id=11410

http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=576

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1 Comment

  • Fran 78 yrs., BP 200/95, will not take her meds from doctor or go back to see her. Her weight is fine, walks daily, poor high salt diet, no alcohol, poor sleep. How long does it take for a stroke to happen, since she seems to be on that path? Thank you.

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