High blood pressure is turning to be one of the world's biggest killers. It is causing high death rates among people in developing countries like China and India.
According to a research (The Lancet in May 2008) by scientists from the University of Auckland in New Zealand, about 54% of all strokes, 47% of ischaemic heart disease, 75% of hypertensive disease and 25% of other cardiovascular disease globally resulted from high blood pressure.
The high blood pressure or hypertension may be divided into three types: Mild Hypertension, Moderate Hypertension and Severe Hypertension. The high blood pressure range values are given below.
If you have high blood pressure, then your heart exerts more force to pump the same quantity of blood within the same time. This puts you at the risk of developing narrowed arteries, which can lead to heart problems, kidney disease, stroke, congestive heart failure and blindness. Note that heart disease and stroke are the first- and third-leading causes of death America.
|Systolic Blood Pressure Range |
|Diastolic Blood Pressure Range |
|Above 210||Above 125||Very Severe Hypertension|
There are no physical symptoms of high blood pressure; you may not know it for years. Therefore high blood pressure is often called the silent killer. The only way to know is to have it measured. You may have high BP - hypertension warning signs such as sweating, headaches, dizziness, quick exhaustion (shortness of breath), a rapid pulse or palpitation and vision disorder (eye symptoms of high blood pressure). Hypertension can cause damage to the blood vessels in the retina, known as hypertensive retinopathy. If you observe any of these signs, you MUST go to your doctor.
The main causes of having high blood pressure are diet and lifestyle factors.
- High cholesterol
- Mental tension/stress/worries/fear/work pressure/competitive life
- Lack of exercise/sedentary lifestyle
- Excessive consumption of common salt, sugar and/or fat can cause high blood pressure. Of the estimated one billion people living with high blood pressure or hypertension, about 30% can be due to excess salt intake," says Dr. Ken Flegel and Dr. Peter Magner.
Know about high sodium or salt foods and Daily Salt Intake Recommendation.
- Nutritional deficiencies : People whose diets are low in potassium, magnesium, calcium, vitamin D and vitamin C are at greater risk of hypertension.
Younger white women with vitamin D deficiencies are about 3 times more likely to have high blood pressure in middle age than those with normal vitamin levels, according to a study conducted by researchers in the University of Michigan School of Public Health and presented at a meeting of the American Heart Association in Chicago in Sept 2009.
The researchers say the problem is worsening as people spend more time indoors.
- Overweight, obesity
- Excessive consumption of alcohol.
The good news is that it is possible to treat high blood pressure by simple lifestyle changes.
1. High blood pressure: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia
2. the American Heart Association blood pressure guidelines