“While you may have had normal blood pressure most of your life, your chances of developing high blood pressure increase considerably after menopause”.1

Umbrella
What may the High Blood Pressure Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Essential Hypertension
  • High Blood Pressure (HBP)
  • Hypertension
  • Idiopathic Hypertension
  • Primary Hypertension

Blood Pressure

What is blood pressure (BP)?

DotS the definition of BP may vary. The (United States) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) definition is:

“Blood pressure is the pressure of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. Arteries carry blood from your heart to other parts of your body.

Your blood pressure normally rises and falls throughout the day”.2

High Blood Pressure

What is high blood pressure (HBP)?

DotS the definition of HBP may vary. The British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) definition is:

“High blood pressure is medically known as hypertension. It means your blood pressure is consistently too high and means that your heart has to work harder to pump blood around your body”.3

Blood Pressure Numbers

What do BP numbers mean?

In High Blood Pressure: High Blood Pressure Symptoms and Causes – What Do Blood Pressure Numbers Mean? the CDC explain:

“Blood pressure is measured using two numbers:

The first number, called systolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats.

The second number, called diastolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart rests between beats.

If the measurement reads 120 systolic and 80 diastolic, you would say, “120 over 80,” or write, “120/80 mmHg””.4

Healthy Blood Pressure

What is a healthy BP?

In High Blood Pressure the (United States) National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) explain:

“For most adults, a healthy blood pressure is usually less than 120 over 80 millimeters of mercury, which is written as your systolic pressure reading over your diastolic pressure reading—120/80 mm Hg”.5

Hypertension

What is hypertension?

The World Heart Federation note:

“Generally hypertension is defined a systolic blood pressure level of 140 and above. This is a risk factor for coronary heart disease and the single most important risk factor for stroke”.6

Signs and Symptoms

What are signs and symptoms of HBP?

In High Blood Pressure: Signs, Symptoms, and Complications the NHLBI elaborate on:

“It is important to have regular blood pressure readings taken and to know your numbers, because high blood pressure usually does not cause symptoms until it has caused serious problems”.7

Silent Killer

Why can HBP be called a “silent killer”?

In High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) the (United States) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) explain:

“High blood pressure is often called a “silent killer” because many people have it but don’t know it. Over time, people who do not get treated for high blood pressure can get very sick or even die”.8

Cause

What causes HBP?

In High Blood Pressure (Hypertension): What Causes High Blood Pressure? the BHF note:

“There isn’t always an explanation for the cause of high blood pressure, but most people develop high blood pressure because of their diet, lifestyle or medical condition.

Sometimes high blood pressure runs in families and can also worsen with age. People living in deprived areas are at higher risk of having high blood pressure, and it is also more common if you are of black African or black Caribbean descent. Even in these cases, you may still be able to improve your blood pressure by changing your diet and being active”.9

Red Wine

Is there an association between red wine and HBP?

In Common High Blood Pressure Myths: 6. Myth: I Read That Wine Is Good for the Heart, Which Means I Can Drink As Much As I Want the American Heart Association (AHA) explain:

“If you drink alcohol, including red wine, do so in moderation. Heavy and regular use of alcohol can increase blood pressure dramatically. It can also cause heart failure, lead to stroke and produce irregular heartbeats. Too much alcohol can contribute to high triglycerides, cancer, obesity, alcoholism, suicide and accidents. If you drink, limit consumption to no more than two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. Generally, one drink equals a 12-ounce beer, a four-ounce glass of wine, 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor, or one ounce of hard liquor (100 proof)”.10

Menopause

Is there an association between menopause and HBP?

In High Blood Pressure and Women: High Blood Pressure After Menopause the AHA note:

High Blood Pressure“While you may have had normal blood pressure most of your life, your chances of developing high blood pressure increase considerably after menopause. See your doctor regularly to have your blood pressure monitored”.11

In Menopause and High Blood Pressure: What’s the Connection? Is There A Connection Between Menopause and High Blood Pressure? the (United States) Mayo Clinic elaborate on:

“Blood pressure generally increases after menopause. Some doctors think this increase suggests that shifting hormones related to menopause are to blame. Others think an increase in body mass index (BMI) in menopausal women may be the more likely culprit.

Changes in hormones during menopause can lead to weight gain and make your blood pressure more sensitive to salt in your diet — which, in turn, can lead to higher blood pressure. Some types of hormone therapy (HT) for menopause also may lead to higher blood pressure”.12

Common or Not

How common is HBP?

In the United States in The Facts About High Blood Pressure: If You Have High Blood Pressure, You Are Not Alone according to the AHA:

  • “Nearly half of American adults have high blood pressure. (Many don’t even know they have it)”.13

In the United Kingdom (UK), according to the BHF:

“As many as 5 million adults in the UK have undiagnosed high blood pressure, so will not know that they are at risk”.14

Health Care Provider

What if I think I have HBP?

If you think you have HBP, it may be in your best interest to choose to talk to your health care provider about this. The BHF note:

“The only way to know whether you have high blood pressure is to have it measured. So, it’s important to get your blood pressure checked”.15

In High Blood Pressure: Prevent and Manage High Blood Pressure the CDC reassure us:

“Whatever your age, you can take steps each day to keep your blood pressure in a healthy range.

You can help prevent high blood pressure—also called hypertension—by making healthy choices and managing other health conditions you may have”.16

Health Topics A-Z

Where may I find Health Topics related to High Blood Pressure?

In Health Topics A-Z you may find:

Links

Where may I find Links related to High Blood Pressure?

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Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted?

You may find the Sources quoted at:

Sources

  1. High Blood Pressure and Women: High Blood Pressure After Menopause. Last Reviewed: 31 October 2016. American Heart Association https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/why-high-blood-pressure-is-a-silent-killer/high-blood-pressure-and-women Accessed: 08 October 2020
  2. High Blood Pressure: High Blood Pressure Symptoms and Causes – What Is Blood Pressure? Page Last Reviewed: 19 May 2020. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/about.htm Accessed: 08 October 2020
  3. High Blood Pressure: What Is High Blood Pressure? British Heart Foundation https://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-health/conditions/high-blood-pressure.aspx Accessed: 08 October 2020
  4. High Blood Pressure: About High Blood Pressure? What Do Blood Pressure Numbers Mean? Page Last Reviewed: 19 May 2020. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/about.htm Accessed: 08 October 2020
  5. High Blood Pressure: Signs, Symptoms, and Complications. Last Updated: 08 May 2020. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/high-blood-pressure Accessed: 08 October 2020
  6. Risk Factors: Cardiovascular Risk Factors – Modifiable Risk Factors: How Hypertension Impacts on Your Heart and Blood Vessels. 30 May 2017. World Heart Federation https://www.world-heart-federation.org/resources/risk-factors/ Accessed: 08 October 2020
  7. High Blood Pressure. Last Updated: 08 May 2020. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/high-blood-pressure Accessed: 08 October 2020
  8. High Blood Pressure (Hypertension). Content Current As of 29 May 2019. Food and Drug Administration https://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ByAudience/ForWomen/ucm118529.htm Accessed: 08 October 2020
  9. High Blood Pressure: What Causes High Blood Pressure? British Heart Foundation https://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-health/conditions/high-blood-pressure.aspx Accessed: 08 October 2020
  10. Common High Blood Pressure Myths: 6. Myth: I Read That Wine Is Good for the Heart, Which Means I Can Drink As Much As I Want. This Content Was Last Reviewed: October 2016. American Heart Association https://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/AboutHighBloodPressure/Common-High-Blood-Pressure-Myths_UCM_430836_Article.jsp#.XR2_tf5S-pq Accessed: 08 October 2020
  11. High Blood Pressure and Women: High Blood Pressure After Menopause. Last Reviewed: 31 October 2016. American Heart Association https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/why-high-blood-pressure-is-a-silent-killer/high-blood-pressure-and-women Accessed: 08 October 2020
  12. Menopause and High Blood Pressure: What’s the Connection? Is There A Connection Between Menopause and High Blood Pressure? Page Last Updated: 16 July 2019. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/expert-answers/menopause-and-high-blood-pressure/faq-20058406 Accessed: 08 October 2020
  13. The Facts About High Blood Pressure: If You Have High Blood Pressure, You Are Not Alone. Last Reviewed: 30 November 2017. American Heart Association https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/the-facts-about-high-blood-pressure Accessed: 08 October 2020
  14. High Blood Pressure: Where Can I Get My Blood Pressure Measured or Tested? British Heart Foundation https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/risk-factors/high-blood-pressure Accessed: 08 October 2020
  15. Blood Pressure Where Can I Get My Blood Pressure Measured or Tested? British Heart Foundation https://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-health/conditions/high-blood-pressure.aspx Accessed: 08 October 2020
  16. High Blood Pressure: Prevent and Manage High Blood Pressure. Page Last Reviewed: 30 September 2020. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/prevent_manage.htm Accessed: 08 October 2020

Topic Last Updated: 13 October 2020 – Topic Last Reviewed: 08 October 2020
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