Over the last few weeks we’ve been focusing on high blood pressure and the difficulties this can cause. But, having low blood pressure, or hypotension, can also be problematic.
A normal blood pressure reading is usually in the range of 120/80 (systolic/diastolic); low blood pressure is less than 90/60.
If you’re an athlete, low blood pressure is usually a sign of good cardiovascular health. But, in the elderly for example, it may be a sign of an underlying problem. Low blood pressure is however, only a medical concern if it causes signs or symptoms, such as dizziness, fainting, or in extreme cases, shock.
Some of the causes of low blood pressure include:
Acute illnesses which leads to severe blood loss or damage to the heart
Diseases involving the nerves controlling the veins in the legs
Hormonal problems such as an underactive thyroid, overactive thyroid, or diabetes
Loss of blood, or loss of fluid
Low or high body temperature
One out of three U.S. adults, 33 percent, have high blood pressure. This equals around 70 million Americans.
About 65 percent over the age of 60 have high blood pressure.
High blood pressure increases your risk for heart disease and stroke . These are two leading causes of death in the U.S.
What is high blood pressure?
High blood pressure is defined as having a blood pressure at or above 140/90 mm Hg.
140 (top number) is your systolic reading.
90 (bottom number) is your diastolic reading.
Current guidelines for treating high blood pressure are to lower systolic blood pressure to below 140 mg Hg and below 130 mm Hg for adults with kidney disease or diabetes. The most commonly prescribed treatment is blood pressure medication, which can be effective, but includes potential side effects.
Would the benefits of lower blood pressure guidelines outweigh the cons associated with more aggressive treatment and higher medication dosage?
It is estimated that one in four adults (approximately 50 million) in the United States has elevated blood pressure – and more than 30 percent of them are unaware of it. Since people with hypertension may not exhibit any symptoms, their high blood pressure is often undiagnosed until complications occur. It has been proven that blood pressure screening facilitates early diagnosis and treatment. Proper treatment clearly reduces the risk of the complications associated with hypertension. Blood pressure Blood pressure is the force exerted against artery walls as blood is carried through the circulatory system. The measurement of force is made in relation to the heart's pumping activity, and is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). The higher number, or systolic pressure, is the measurement of pressure that occurs when the ventricle of the heart contracts or beats. The lower number, or diastolic pressure, is the measurement recorded between beats, while the heart is ...
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