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High Blood Pressure

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What are the Factors that contribute to high blood pressure and how can high blood pressure be treated? Blood pressure is defined as the amount of force exerted on the walls of the arteries as the blood moves through them. There are two measurements used to assess blood pressure: The pressure that is exerted when the heart beats and forces blood around the body is known as Systolic pressure. Diastolic pressure is the measure of pressure when the heart is resting between beats.[1] In recording systolic and diastolic pressures they are separated by a slash / as in '120/80' (one twenty over eighty). A pulse is a rhythmic pressure that accompanies each heart beat. The difference between the systolic and the diastolic is the pulse pressure. To report a single blood pressure value the mean arterial pressure (MAP) is used, this is calculated by adding one third of the pulse pressure to the diastolic pressure: MAP= Diastolic pressure + Pulse pressure 3 For a systolic pressure of 120mmHg and a diastolic pressure of 90mmHg, MAP can be calculated as follows: MAP=90 + (120 - 90) = 90 + 10 = 100mmHg 3 The graph shows the blood pressure throughout the cardiovascular system. Systemic pressures are highest in the aorta, peaking at about 120mmHg and reach a minimum of 2mmHg at the entrance to the right atrium [2]. ...read more.


Blood pressure can fall by up to 2.5/1.5 mmHg for each excess kilogram which is lost. Losing excess weight has other health benefits too. Exercise - Regular physical activity can lower blood pressure in addition to giving other health benefits. If you previously did little physical activity, and change to doing regular physical activity five times a week, it can reduce systolic blood pressure by 2-10 mmHg. Diet -A healthy diet provides benefits in different ways. Some aspects of a healthy diet also directly affect blood pressure. For example, if you have a poor diet and change to a diet which is low-fat, low-salt, and high in fruit and vegetables, it can lower systolic blood pressure by up to 11 mmHg. Salt - The amount of salt that we eat can have an effect on our blood pressure. Government guidelines recommend that we should have no more than 5-6 grams of salt per day. Caffeine - Caffeine is thought to have a modest effect on blood pressure. It is advised that you restrict your coffee consumption (and other caffeine-rich drinks) to fewer than five cups per day. Alcohol -A small amount of alcohol (1-2 units per day) may help to protect you from heart disease. However, too much alcohol can be harmful. ...read more.


From 2003 to 2005 there was a decrease in most age's frequencies. There was a significant rise in women aged 65-74 from 2005 to 2006 to over 70 percent. This shows that there is an increase in the number of women being at risk from hypertension. Current research shows that genetics can play a part in the risk of having high blood pressure. The STK39 gene variant was found after scanning the entire genetic code of hundreds of people in the US and Europe. Those with the variant had raised blood pressure compared with those carrying other versions. The gene produces a protein which controls how the kidneys process salt - a key factor in changing blood pressure.[12]According to the new research, the STK39 gene, that is found in one out of five people, makes us more susceptible to how our kidneys control blood pressure.[13] In conclusion the numbers of people with high blood pressure is rising, if everyone made a small adjustment to their lifestyles then this could help reduce the risks of developing hypertension or any of the other cardiovascular complications related to high blood pressure therefore significantly reducing the number of deaths to this health issue. The best way to prevent hypertension, and the associated risks of cardiovascular disease, is to eat a healthy diet, maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly, drink alcohol in moderation, and avoid smoking. ...read more.

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