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Home / Health Insurance / Articles / Cardiovascular Health / Understanding the Connection Between High Blood Pressure and Cardiovascular Health

Understanding the Connection Between High Blood Pressure and Cardiovascular Health

Team AckoJan 17, 2024

High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of cardiovascular diseases in adults and affects millions of people around the world. According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly 1 out of every 3 adults in the U.S. has high blood pressure. The issue of high blood pressure is not limited to adults, and can even affect children, teens, and young adults. High blood pressure is classified as systolic above 140 and diastolic above 90 mmHg.

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Contents

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Symptoms of High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is considered a silent killer because it carries no obvious physical symptoms. Because of this, it is important for individuals to be aware of the potential signs and symptoms to look for. Some of these symptoms may include headache, chest pain, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, difficulty breathing, and/or vision changes. In extreme cases, high blood pressure can lead to swollen ankles, confusion, and even stroke or heart attack.

Risk Factors of High Blood Pressure

It is important to know the risk factors of high blood pressure, as they can help to identify the issue earlier. Risk factors include: hypertension, diabetes, obesity, smoking, sedentary lifestyle, family history of hypertension, alcohol use, age, and sex. Hypertension (high blood pressure) is the most important risk factor for developing high blood pressure.

Complications of High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can lead to serious medical complications, specifically if it is left untreated. It can lead to stroke, heart attack, aneurysm, and kidney damage. High blood pressure can also result in a variety of other issues, such as severe headaches, shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting, chest pain, nosebleeds, disabilities, and vision changes.

Treatment of High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can be managed through lifestyle changes, medications, or a combination of both. Some lifestyle changes to manage high blood pressure include: eating a healthy diet low in fat, exercising for a minimum of 30 minutes a day, cutting back or quitting smoking and alcohol consumption, reducing stress, and reducing or eliminating the consumption of salt and high-sodium foods. Medications may also be prescribed to control high blood pressure, such as ACE inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, beta blockers, and diuretics.

Prevention of High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can be prevented through lifestyle changes and eating a healthy diet. Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, and lean proteins can help to reduce the risk of high blood pressure. Portion control is also important in controlling blood pressure, as well as getting regular exercise, quitting smoking, and reducing stress. Both diet and lifestyle changes are important in controlling and maintaining healthy blood pressure levels.

High Blood Pressure and Cardiovascular Health

High blood pressure can cause damage to the cardiovascular system, specifically the heart, leading to heart attack or stroke. High blood pressure can weaken the arteries, making them narrow or blocked, leading to a heart attack. High blood pressure can also lead to a buildup of plaque in the arteries, leading to clots, which can also cause a heart attack. High blood pressure also puts a strain on the heart, leading to heart failure and/or stroke.

Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease

Other factors, beyond high blood pressure, can also increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Risk factors such as age, gender, diabetes, obesity, smoking, alcohol use, family history, and sedentary lifestyle all increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosing and treating high blood pressure is important to prevent complications of high blood pressure, such as stroke and heart attack. Diagnosing high blood pressure begins with a physical examination and medical history. A blood pressure reading of 140/90 mmHg or higher should be taken multiple times to make sure it is accurately diagnosed. After diagnosis, a treatment plan is created to keep the blood pressure levels in the normal range.

Conclusion

High blood pressure is a silent killer that can lead to serious medical issues if left untreated. It is important to be aware of the risk factors, symptoms, and treatments available to prevent high blood pressure and its effects on cardiovascular health. Eating a healthy, balanced diet low in sodium, exercising regularly, cutting back or quitting smoking and alcohol consumption, and reducing stress can help to reduce the risk of high blood pressure and reduce the potential for cardiovascular complications.

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