High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a common condition that affects many people worldwide. It is a major risk factor for heart attack and other diseases.
One of the ways that doctors measure blood pressure is by using a blood pressure cuff, which gives two readings: systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure.
Systolic blood pressure is the top number and measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats.
Diastolic blood pressure is the bottom number and measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart is at rest between beats.
Doctors have traditionally focused on keeping the diastolic blood pressure in a range of 70-90. However, a new study suggests that this may not be necessary.
Scientists from NUI Galway and other institutions analyzed data from over 47,000 patients worldwide.
They found that there appears to be no lower limit for diastolic blood pressure, and no evidence that reducing it to levels previously considered too low could be harmful.
The team also confirmed that high systolic blood pressure readings above 120 increased the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Based on their findings, they recommend treating patients with high blood pressure to a systolic level of between 100-130mmHg, without worrying about the diastolic blood pressure falling too low.
This study’s results could change how doctors treat patients with high blood pressure, as they can now focus on treating the systolic value without worrying about the diastolic blood pressure level.
It could also help prevent future complications associated with hypertension, such as heart attack and stroke.
How to prevent high blood pressure
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a condition in which the force of blood against the artery walls is too high, which can lead to serious health problems like heart disease and stroke. Here are some ways to prevent high blood pressure:
Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese can put extra strain on the heart, increasing the risk of high blood pressure.
Eat a healthy diet: A diet that’s rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy can help lower blood pressure.
Reduce sodium intake: Too much sodium can cause blood vessels to constrict, leading to higher blood pressure. Try to limit sodium intake to no more than 2,300 milligrams per day.
Exercise regularly: Regular physical activity can help maintain a healthy weight and lower blood pressure.
Limit alcohol intake: Drinking too much alcohol can raise blood pressure. Men should limit alcohol intake to no more than two drinks per day, and women should limit intake to no more than one drink per day.
Quit smoking: Smoking damages blood vessels and can lead to higher blood pressure. Quitting smoking can help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Manage stress: Chronic stress can raise blood pressure. Finding ways to manage stress, such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises, can help lower blood pressure.
Check blood pressure regularly: High blood pressure often has no symptoms, so it’s important to have it checked regularly by a healthcare provider. If high blood pressure is detected, it can be treated to reduce the risk of complications.
The study was conducted by Bill McEvoy et al and published in Circulation.
If you care about high blood pressure, please read studies about how your eyes could help diagnose high blood pressure, and marijuana may strongly increase death risk in high blood pressure.
For more information about blood pressure, please see recent studies that early time-restricted eating could help improve blood pressure, and results showing plant-based foods could benefit people with high blood pressure.
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