Understanding High Blood Pressure Targets

High blood pressure affects millions of people around the world. Right now, one in three adults in the United States is living with this condition, struggling every day to push toward greater health.

Understanding Who Is At Risk For High Blood Pressure

1. High Blood Pressure Affects Certain Races or Ethnicities More Than Others

Note that high blood pressure can affect anyone, regardless of race. However, high blood pressure affects African American adults far more than most Hispanic or Caucasian adults. When looking at the statistics, it’s understood that:

  1. African American adults are affected with high blood pressure at an earlier age.
  2. African American adults have greater high blood pressure severity.
  3. African American adults are less able to control their high blood pressure with medications and other treatments.
  4. African American adults are at a greater risk of high blood pressure-related deaths. These deaths range from stroke, coronary heart disease, diabetes, and kidney failure.

Note that different Hispanic American adults have different high blood pressure risks, as well. 

For example, adults from Puerto Rican backgrounds have greater risk of high blood pressure-related deaths than other Hispanic groups. However, Cuban Americans have less high blood pressure-related death risks than all Caucasians.

2. High Blood Pressure Risks Rise With Age

Studies show that approximately sixty-five percent of all Americans over the age of sixty suffer from high blood pressure. These older adults tend to suffer from the specific formation of high blood pressure called isolated systolic hypertension, which occurs when the systolic blood pressure, or the top number in the reading, is too high.

Note that one does not automatically have high blood pressure at this older age. Take steps to reduce risks in prior years, prevention is key.

3. Gender Influences High Blood Pressure Numbers

Both men and women have an equal chance of eventually suffering from high blood pressure. However, the time during which they receive the affliction alters with their gender. Note that men younger than forty-five are much more likely to have high blood pressure than women in this age bracket, while after the age of sixty-five, women are much more likely to suffer from high blood pressure than men.

4. The Number on the Scale Affects High Blood Pressure Risks

People who are overweight or obese are far more likely to struggle with high blood pressure. When one is overweight or obese, his or her weight is higher than it should be in relation to his or her bone structure and skeletal build.

5. Irresponsible Lifestyle Habits Can Create Greater Risk For High Blood Pressure

People with inappropriate life habits have a greater risk of high blood pressure. For example, if they:

A. Smoke cigarettes

Tobacco yields an immediate increase of blood pressure. Over time, the tobacco chemicals can ultimately damage the artery wall lining, narrowing the arteries and increasing blood pressure levels.

B. Drink too much liquor, wine, or beer

If men drink more than two alcoholic drinks a day and women drink more than one alcoholic drink per day, high blood pressure can ultimately ensue.

C. Have a lack of potassium in their diet

Potassium allows sodium levels to balance in the body’s cells. Without potassium, pumping blood retains too many sodium particles.

D. Eat too much sodium and salt

Salt forces the body to retain fluid. This fluid retention elevates blood pressure.

E. Don’t exercise

People who exercise regularly have lower heart rates. Without exercise, the heart must work harder in order to contract and force blood through the arteries. This builds greater force and elevates blood pressure levels.

F. Don’t get enough vitamin D

Vitamin D has been shown to alter a kidney enzyme that can keep bodily blood pressure normal.

G. Have high levels of stress

Continuous stress can contribute to automatic higher levels of stress. This creates a spike in blood pressure that can become chronic over time. Find other ways of coping with stress and relaxing rather than by drinking, smoking tobacco, or eating unhealthy foods. These lifestyle actions can elevate blood pressure levels further.

Understanding At-Risk Youths

Although high blood pressure generally affects the older populations, it’s important to note that children and teenagers are at a greater risk today for both prehypertension and high blood pressure. This is because both childhood and teenager obesity rates have skyrocketed in the recent years due to poor diet, lack of exercise, and various other lifestyle reasons.

Note that Mexican American and African American children and teenagers are far more likely to have high blood pressure than Caucasian children. Remember to have all children and teenagers checked for high blood pressure.

Other High Blood Pressure Causes

High blood pressure lurks within various medical problems like thyroid disease, chronic kidney disease, and sleep apnea. Furthermore, some types of asthma medicines and cold products can elevate blood pressure.

Women should take note that some birth control pills, hormone therapies, and pregnancies boost blood pressure numbers. Generally, when women begin to take birth control, their systolic and diastolic blood pressure numbers both elevate. If women are at risk for high blood pressure, they should speak to their doctor prior to utilizing birth control pills.

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