What Causes High Blood Pressure
"Learn What To Look For And What You Might Be Dealing With"
& How Is It Measured
What Exactly Is Blood Pressure
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), about 65 million Americans over the age of 20 have high blood pressure. That's about one in three adults in the United States. Only about 63 percent of those with high blood pressure are even aware that they have it.
The reason so many people don't know they have high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is that there aren't really any clear symptoms of hypertension. In fact, according to the AHA, the cause of 90 to 95 percent of the cases of high blood pressure in America isn't known.
So why should a person worry if he or she has high blood pressure? Hypertension raises your risk for other health problems including heart attacks and strokes. In 2003, more than 52,000 Americans died because of complications related to high blood pressure. The rate of death from high blood pressure increased nearly 30 percent between 1993 and 2004.
It's important to understand what blood pressure is before you can know why it is vital to do something about your high blood pressure.
Blood pressure is basically the force exerted on the arteries by the blood as it passes through them. Someone with high blood pressure has blood that is putting higher- than-normal pressure on the arteries, which puts more stress on the body.
The heart has to work so hard to get the blood pumped through those arteries that it can actually enlarge and damage the heart, eventually causing heart attacks, strokes, aneurysm and other heart problems if left untreated.
How is Blood Pressure Measured?
A healthy heart usually beats 60 to 70 times per minute when a person is at rest. The blood's pressure is different depending on whether the heart is beating or at rest. A blood pressure reading is actually a measurement of both of these numbers.
The measure of blood pressure while the heart is beating is known as systolic pressure, while the pressure when the heart is at rest is called diastolic pressure. Your blood pressure when you get it measured at the doctor's office is reported as one number "over" another, such as 120/80. The top number is your systolic pressure, while he bottom is your diastolic pressure.
The actual measuring of blood pressure is done with the help of a blood pressure cuff, which most people are familiar with from routinely having their blood pressure taken. This device includes a cuff that is secured around the upper arm and two rubber tubes, one of which goes to the rubber bulb that inflates the cuff, and the other which goes to a reservoir containing mercury. The effect of the pressure on the mercury is actually how the blood pressure is measured.
As air is blown into the cuff, the doctor or nurse taking your blood pressure will listen for the pulse. When he or she first hears the pulse, the systolic measurement is recorded. When the sound of the pulse recedes, the doctor then takes the diastolic reading. The unit of measure is actually millimeters of mercury, reflecting the use of mercury in the test.
"If You Finally Want To Lower Your Blood Pressure, Once And For All, You Need To Know What Causes High Blood Pressure! Learn All The Facts Before You Take Any Action."
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