Hypertension is always accompanied by a risk, but in some people, that risk is higher. If you have high blood pressure, it means your blood is pumping too hard, overexerting your heart, causing a life-threatening danger.
Fortunately, that risk can be avoided, or at least minimized.
Controlling your blood pressure levels is essential to achieve this. But if you’re in at-risk groups, you need to tighten that control.
Do you have high blood pressure? You must control it without delay. In this article, we explain the risk factors for hypertension.
What is Hypertension?
Hypertension is the sustained or continuous rise in blood pressure levels.
To find out if you are hypertensive, you need to take your blood pressure and compare those values with the World Health Organization (WHO) normal blood pressure chart.
You can find out what the Normal Blood Pressure Values are here.
What are the symptoms of hypertension?
Hypertension often does not cause symptoms and is therefore known as “the invisible killer”. In some cases, it can cause a headache, nosebleeds, and shortness of breath. However, these symptoms do not occur until extreme cases where blood pressure has reached very high and life-threatening levels.
Risk factors for hypertension include
Some factors increase your risk of high blood pressure, but some of them can be controlled, while others, such as age and race, are not controllable or modifiable.
Uncontrolled risk factors include:
- Family history
- Chronic kidney disease
Men up to age 64 are more likely to have high blood pressure than women. From that age on, women are the ones who tend to have high blood pressure. Menopause is a risk factor for hypertension.
Studies have shown that African Americans are more likely to have high blood pressure than whites.
Risk factors that can be controlled include:
- Unhealthy diet
- High cholesterol
- Overweight or obese
- Sleep Apnea
What is the risk of hypertension?
Uncontrolled high blood pressure can cause arrhythmias, angina pectoris or coronary insufficiency, and can lead to thrombosis and arteriosclerosis.
In the worst case, hypertension can cause an aneurysm, dilated aortic walls, or a ruptured aorta, which inevitably causes death.
Hypertension in pregnancy
Hypertension disorders in pregnancy are the cause of various problems during the nine months of pregnancy, especially in hypertensive women.
It is normal for the pressure to drop a little during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy and this is not a cause for alarm.
However, increased blood pressure is a risk to both mother and baby, so it is essential to monitor your blood pressure throughout your pregnancy.
Hypertension in the elderly
Blood pressure increases with age. It is normal for people over age 60 to have high blood pressure levels.
However, it is necessary to control blood pressure in the elderly to avoid cardiovascular risks.
In older patients, normal blood pressure rises and can be kept within the 150 mmHg range.
Hypertension in diabetic patients
Diabetes increases the risk of high blood pressure and high blood pressure increases the risk of diabetes.
Hypertensive diabetic patients should exercise strict control of both their glucose levels and their blood pressure.
The combination of high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes is particularly dangerous because it increases cardiovascular risk, as well as the likelihood of developing diseases that are related to diabetes, such as retinopathy and kidney disease.
Having high blood pressure is a risk, but you can control it
Today it is possible to have a blood pressure monitor at home to measure blood pressure values, which helps to monitor values closely and to act in time at the first signs of alarm.
Lifestyle is very important to keep pressure levels under control. If you think you are at risk, change the habits that hurt you into healthy habits, so you don’t have to worry about your high blood pressure.
Don’t forget that regular consultation with your primary care physician is essential to avoid the risk, as the specialist may, based on your individual stress values, prescribe a specific medication or treatment to lower your blood pressure.
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