Why high blood pressure is dangerous
Diseases of the cardiovascular system are in the first place among the causes of death, and high blood pressure is the main engine of destruction of the heart and blood vessels. Among the adult population, 30-45% suffer from it, and over 60 years old – 60% or more. According to WHO, every fourth person in the world is hypertensive. High blood pressure is a “silent killer” that wears out the body. Here’s what you need to know about it.
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What is blood pressure
At the reception at the clinic, the doctor or nurse puts a cuff on his arm, blows air with a pear and after a couple of minutes calls two numbers. Normally, these are 120 and 80. The first number is systolic blood pressure, which occurs at the time of heart contraction. The second number is diastolic. This is the pressure when the heart relaxes between contractions.
Blood pressure depends on three indicators – the work of the heart, vascular tone and blood volume in the bloodstream. It changes frequently. It, for example, rises when jogging, on an exam, skydiving, on a date. Pressure regulates the blood supply to organs – the brain, heart, kidneys, muscles to solve any problems. More blood to the head – eureka, problem solved, powerful blood flow to the heart and muscles – victory in the race at the competition. The irritant has disappeared – the pressure returns to normal. But sometimes the mechanism breaks down, the pressure grows and remains constantly high – a chronic destructive process is activated.
What pressure is high
Scientists say: the optimal pressure is 120/80. Pressure up to 129/84 is called normal, and up to 139/89 is called high normal. High blood pressure or hypertension – from 140/90 and above. Its symptoms are non-specific: headaches, flies before the eyes, palpitations, feeling hot, sweating, nosebleeds. Often, high blood pressure is detected by accidental measurement, at the annual medical examination, during medical examination.
“If the pressure figures are above 140/90, you need to measure it three times a day for a week. When the numbers remain at such levels or higher, it’s worth visiting a cardiologist, says Natalia Polenova , Ph.D. recommendations for lifestyle changes.
There are modifiable and non-modifiable causes of hypertension. Heredity, age and gender are a given. Many patients with hypertension have relatives who also suffer from high blood pressure, and the older the person, the higher the risk. And men suffer from hypertension more often than women.
Changeable causes are overweight, sedentary lifestyle, chronic stress, smoking and alcohol, excessive intake of salt from food. If a person eats more than necessary, the body stores calories in fat. The level of cholesterol, harmful lipoproteins, and lipids is rising. In a fatty mass, they are deposited in the walls of the arteries – atherosclerosis of the vessels develops. The arteries become clogged, stiff and unyielding, and the pressure builds up.