The Basics|Developing high blood pressure

Today millions of Americans are victims of high blood pressure, or hypertension.  Hypertension is a decease that most people don’t know they have.  Heart attack and or stroke are the two common denominators, when a high blood pressure is out of control.

Hypertension is an abnormal condition in which the blood pressure exceeds the accepted normal reading of 120/80.  The first of the two numbers mentioned (120) refers to the systolic pressure; the second (80), to the diastolic pressure.

The latest classifications of hypertension are as follows:

  • Mild hypertension: 90 to 104
  • Moderate hypertension: 105 to 114
  • Severe hypertension: above 114

To understand what happens when hypertension occurs, picture a garden hose attached to a faucet, through which water flows, watering the lawn.  Now place your foot on the hose near its far end.  Slowly start applying pressure so that you are cutting down the flow of water within the hose.  As you increase the pressure with your foot, the flow decreases and the pressure of the water within the hose stars to rise.  Eventually the pressure will cause the hose to rupture, especially if there is weak area within its walls.  Picture your arteries begin to block and the flow of blood leading to a stroke as the pressure explodes the artery wall.

WHO IS MOST LIKELY TO GET HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE?

Older people are more susceptible than the young.  Although age plays an important role, hypertension can develop in people under twenty.  Because normal pressure readings in the young are never as high as those found in adults, young people are considered to have high blood pressure when their pressure exceeds the level that is normal for their particular age group.

Under the age of fifty, hypertension is more common in men than in women.  After fifty-five or sixty, it is more likely to strike females than males.  However, women tolerate high blood pressure better than men do, and more men than women die from high blood pressure.

Family history can have a big correlation as well.  If one parent has hypertension, there is a better-than-average chance that the children also will have it.  If both parents have it, then the odds are greatly increased.

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