DEFINITION / STATISTICS
In 2017, the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association published new guidelines for hypertension management and defined high hypertension as a blood pressure at or above 130/80 mmHg.
Having hypertension puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke, which are leading causes of death in the United States.
In 2019, more than half a million deaths in the United States had hypertension as a primary or contributing cause.
Nearly half of adults in the United States (47%, or 116 million) have hypertension, defined as a blood pressure greater than 130/80 mmHg.
Only about 1 in 4 adults (24%) with hypertension have their condition under control.
Average Patients take 2-4 different medications to control BP
LIFESTYLE CHANGES YOU CAN MAKE
Maintain a healthy weight. When it comes to hypertension prevention, your weight is crucial. People who are overweight should try to lose weight, and people of normal weight should avoid adding on any pounds. If you are carrying extra weight — or have a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or higher — losing as little as 10 pounds can help prevent high blood pressure,
Eat a balanced diet. Eating healthful foods can help keep your blood pressure under control. Get plenty of fruits and vegetables, and limit your intake of saturated fat, trans fat, and sugar. Consider following the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or AHA - DASH, diet, which has been shown to help manage blood pressure. The eating plan maximizes fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet. Foods to limit include red meat, sodium, and sweets.
Cut back on salt. For many people, a low-sodium diet can help keep blood pressure normal. "The higher the sodium intake, the higher the blood pressure," A study published in 2017 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology of more than 400 adults with prehypertension found that the combination of reduced sodium intake and the DASH diet substantially lowered systolic blood pressure.
Exercise regularly. Get moving to prevent hypertension. Trying to exercise to recommended levels is great, but even a little bit can help control blood pressure. The AHA recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week. This should also be supplemented with muscle strengthening activity, such as free weights or resistance training, two days per week.
Limit alcohol. Drinking too much alcohol can lead to high blood pressure. For women, that means no more than one drink a day, and for men, no more than two,
Manage stress. While the link between stress and blood pressure is still being studied, stress is known to contribute to other important risk factors for hypertension, including unhealthy eating and alcohol intake. Meditation and exercise may help you manage both stress and high blood pressure, according to the AHA.
Monitor your blood pressure. Make sure that you have your blood pressure measured regularly, either at your doctor's office or at home. High blood pressure often occurs with no symptoms, so only blood pressure readings will tell you if your blood pressure is on the rise, Optimally, you want to keep your blood pressure below 120/80 mmHg, It is important to routinely monitor BP with your healthcare provider.
Don't Smoke / Quite Smoking. While smoking is a proven risk factor for heart attack and stroke, its connection to high blood pressure (HBP or hypertension) is still being determined. However, both smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke increase the risk for the buildup of fatty substances (plaque) inside the arteries (atherosclerosis) — a process that high blood pressure is known to accelerate. Every time you smoke, it also causes a temporary increase in blood pressure.