Risk Factors of High Blood Pressure
Risks Factors of High Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is the force your blood has on the walls of your arteries and is an indicator of your heart’s health. This month, we celebrate National Heart Month by educating about our hearts and what our body is telling us about our health! When blood pressure is too high, it can bring on a slew of health issues. Here are some risk factors of high blood pressure that may encourage you to pay closer attention to your own body!
How is Blood Pressure Measured
It is routine to check your blood pressure at every doctor’s appointment. This usually involves a band wrapped around your upper arm and the band is then squeezed. There are two numbers that indicate your blood pressure, systolic and diastolic. The systolic number is measured when the heart beats and pressure is at its highest. The Diastolic number is measured between beats when pressure is at its lowest. The two numbers are usually read in fraction form (for example 120/80)
What Can Put Me at High Risk
According to the National Heart, Lunch, and Blood Institute, there are 5 main risk factors of high blood pressure.
- Lifestyle and habits – This would include your diet as well as alcohol consumption. It is also important to consider the amount of exercise you get and if you smoke.
- Race or ethnicity – High blood pressure can affect anyone but African Americans tend to be affected earlier in life. Hispanic individuals are also at higher risk of developing high blood pressure or hypertension.
- Gender – According to NHLBI, more men have high blood pressure before age 60. After age 60, that number flips and more women tend to have high blood pressure
- Your Age – Though it is more common as we age, it can still affect younger people as well.
- Genetics – If close family members have high blood pressure, you are more likely to develop it.
Make a Plan
If you fall under the categories listed above that may put you at higher risk for high blood pressure, then you need to make a plan and take action to ensure your heart’s health. This plan may include watching your salt intake, devoting more time to exercise, or quitting smoking. Whatever route you want to take, be sure to talk with your doctor.
The Heart Center at CCMH is the only comprehensive heart program in Southwest Oklahoma. Learn more about how we can care for you or your loved one here: https://www.ccmhhealth.com/heart-and-vascular/
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