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Hypertension Statistics - What Does Rising Hypertension Statistics Mean to You

Aug 26, 2008
Thousands of Americans have hypertension and don't even know it. In order to understand high blood pressure, you need to understand what causes it and how to interpret hypertension statistics.

The heart, designed to be an efficient hardworking pump, sends thousands of gallons of blood coursing through your body daily and beats about 90,000 times in order to do this. It works to push blood through the arteries with the pressure where necessary. The walls of the arteries also push to aid the flow of blood through the body and to supply nourishment and oxygen to the most distant regions. Sometimes the arteries suffer from blockages and tight constrictions. Blood pressure readings measure how hard the heart has to work to accomplish its task.

When you have a health care professional take your blood pressure, they put a cuff on your arm. The cuff, when filled with air, creates a pressure that cuts the supply of blood. As the air pressure in the cuff releases, the health care professional records the number where they first hear blood moving through the veins. That's the systolic pressure or the top number. Systolic pressure is the maximum pumping pressure of the heart and comes from the heart contracting.

The second number, is determined as the pressure in the cuff lowers and is taken when the health care professional no longer hears the heart beat. This is the diastolic pressure. This is the pressure that occurs when the heart relaxes and is the bottom number of the blood pressure reading.

Sometimes blockage in the arteries makes the heart work harder. Sometimes stress and pressure create adrenaline and other stress related hormones that constrict some of the blood vessels in preparation for fight or flight. The constriction makes the heart work harder and if stress continues over a long period of time, creates changes to your body. Sometimes aging causes changes to the vessels' elasticity and makes the heart pump harder. As women enter menopause, their estrogen levels, often believed to aid in the control of blood pressure, also drops.

The normal range for blood pressure is quite broad.

Normal blood pressure's systolic number is less than 120 mm Hg and the diastolic number less than 80 mm Hg. Mm Hg is the measurement of the amount of pressure and uses the pressure exerted by a column of mercury as its standard. Unless the pressure is abnormally low and causes symptoms such as passing out, or is suddenly low, any numbers lower than 120/80 are within the normal range.

Prehypertension, the time when blood pressure control could be as simple as increasing exercise starts when the systolic numbers are between 120 and 139. The diastolic number is 80-89 when prehypertension exists. When people realize they have the start of hypertension, not only should they monitor their blood pressure more closely but they can also change diet and lifestyle to improve the reading. People with prehypertension caused from stress often don't have permanent changes to the blood vessels.

Stage 1 hypertension exists when the top number is between 140 and 159 or the diastolic or bottom number is 90 to 99.

The most dangerous level or stage 2 high blood pressure has a systolic level higher than 160 or the diastolic level higher than 100. These levels, maintained for any period of time create changes that lead to stroke, kidney failure, an enlarged heart, heart failure, aneurisms and other damage to the body. That's why it's important to check your blood pressure frequently if you see notice that you are at risk of hypertension. Keep these explanations in mind the next time you check your hypertension statistics.
About the Author
Jan Oliver is an academic, writer and researcher in Natural Health. Discover the genuine natural ways on how to lower blood pressure today. Click Here to get your free report on lowering your blood pressure!
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