High Blood Pressure and Its Devastating Impact on the Heart
by Verlyn Ross
High Blood Pressure and Its Devestating Impact on the Heart
High blood pressure and heart disease are very inter-related. This article explores that relationship. It is important to understand the synergy between the two. Further, it is important to understand that we are discussing a serious health condition here, that it truly may be a matter of life or death.
High blood pressure is sometimes referred to as hypertension. In fact, the two terms are often used interchangeably and will be in this article. Sometimes it is easy for a doctor to pinpoint the exact cause of a patients hypertension but very often, the cause or causes are not obvious. For that reason, most of the time, high blood pressure is referred to as essential or primary blood pressure or hypertension, meaning that the cause is not easy to detect. There are however many risk factors that can contribute to a persons potential for developing this disease.
Another category is secondary hypertension which is evidenced in approximately 10 percent of individuals suffering from high blood pressure. This is when the problem is easy to pinpoint and is linked to a particular medical problem such as hormonal disorders, kidney disease or a variety of other diseases. It can even be the result of taking particular drugs. Once the problem is diagnosed and steps are taken to correct it, the patients hypertension generally normalizes.
High blood pressure is often described as being silent and there is referring to the fact that there are very often no overt symptoms of an underlying problem. Unfortunately hypertension is a very serious health concern that can double or even sometimes triple a persons chance of developing heart disease, kidney disease or a stroke. There is only one way to be aware of what your blood pressure is and that is to have regular checks performed by your doctor. Some patients will be encouraged to come in to the doctors office more often than others to have this monitoring activity.
There are a few risk factors that can increase your chance of falling victim to hypertension. These risk factors include
age, ethnicity, family history, obesity, diabetes, stress, excessive drinking and smoking. Blood pressure tends to be lower when you are young and to rise, as you get older. For example approximately half of all men and women over the age of 65 suffer from hypertension. Some ethnic groups seem to be more likely to develop hypertension than others. Those most at risk include Aboriginal Peoples (or Inuit), South Asians, Black Canadians and First Nations. High blood pressure tends to run in families. For example, if one of your parents has the problem then you have a one in five chance of developing it. If both your parents do, then the risk rises to one in three.
Excess pounds seem to have a big impact on the development of hypertension. This is not so true for those who are only 10 to 15 pounds overweight but it is true for those who are considered obese. Weight that piles up around the abdominal area seems to be even worse in terms of the development of high blood pressure. Those suffering from diabetes are more likely to develop high blood pressure than members of the general population who do not suffer from this disease.
Bouts of repetitive stress may play a role in the acquisition of hypertension although stress is not as large a risk factor as are some of the others. Certainly, constant stress is believed to encourage unhealthy lifestyle habits. Drinking heavily puts more strain on the heart thereby increasing blood pressure. Finally smoking places a lot of strain on the heart muscle and affects blood flow and thus tends to be a factor in the onset of high blood pressure.
It is hoped that the reader has a better understanding of the relationship between high blood pressure and heart disease and the high risk factors that are involved. As stated earlier, It truly could be a matter of life and death for you.
About the Author
The writings of Verlyn Ross are primarily in the area of Health Care. He owns and operates www.Achieve-Health-Fitness.com
For a great place to get Answers, go here! http://www.achieve-health-fitness.com