News ID: 198204
Published: 0721 GMT August 08, 2017

What is high blood pressure?

What is high blood pressure?
express.co.uk

Blood pressure is recorded with two numbers but few people are actually aware of what they mean and how it could impact your health.

High blood pressure is thought to affect one in four people in the United Kingdom.

The condition can put strain on the brain, kidneys eyes, blood vessels and the heart, express.co.uk reported.

The British Heart Foundation said as many as seven million people in the UK are living with undiagnosed high blood pressure, without knowing they are at risk.

But few people actually know what the numbers mean.

The only way people can know if they have high blood pressure is if they have a test as the condition doesn’t cause symptoms.

Blood pressure is recorded with two numbers. The top number — also the higher number — is the systolic pressure which records the force at which heart pumps blood around the body.

The diastolic pressure is the resistance to the blood flow in the vessels.

Both numbers are measured in millimeters of mercury.

High blood pressure is considered to be high if it is more than 140/90mmHg.

Normal blood pressure is considered to be anything between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg.

Persistently high blood pressure — which can be a sign of metabolic syndrome — can increase the risk of life threatening conditions include heart disease, heart attacks, stroke, dementia and kidney disease.

It can even increase the risk of peripheral arterial disease, vascular dementia and heart failure.

High blood pressure is more likely to occur in people over the age of 65.

It is also more likely in people who are overweight or obese, of African or Caribbean descent, have a relative with high blood pressure, eat too much salt, don’t exercise enough, drink too much caffeine and smoke.

High blood pressure can also occur in people who don’t get much sleep.

People can also be prescribed medication to tackle high blood pressure.

This common includes ACE inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, beta blockers, alpha blockers or angiotensin-2 receptor blockers.

These are usually taken once a day but experts have warned there can be side effects of high blood pressure medication including headaches and impotence.

Lowering blood pressure to a level which is less than what is considered to be a normal blood pressure — could benefit patients with high blood pressure, a report has recently revealed.

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