Blood Pressure is measure of the pressure of blood that exerts on the walls of the arteries, when pumped through the body by the heart. It is measured in mm Hg. A reading of 120/80 is considered a healthy value. But if this reading goes up to 140/90 mm Hg, it is indicative of High Blood Pressure, commonly called Hypertension.
Hypertension is often referred to as a Silent Killer as it does not show any characteristic symptoms. Increased blood pressure increases the work of the arteries and the heart causing significant damage to the kidneys, the eyes and the heart.
It has been noted that most people develop high blood pressure in old age and recent research has shown that the elderly are especially lax when it comes to managing it. Untreated Hypertension can lead to an emergency condition that can prove to be lethal. Therefore it is recommended for the elderly to exercise great caution and care when it come to regulating blood pressure.
The Journal of American Medical Association studied the blood pressure in older people and found that most of the patients over the age of eighty years had a higher reading of blood pressure and were doing nothing to control it.
The researchers observed blood pressure together with heart health in over 5,000 respondents for over duration of six years. In the oldest group constituting of respondents over the age of 80, three quarters reported high blood pressure, out of which only 38 percent of men and 23 percent of women were being effectively treated for the condition. The results of the research were surprising because it is especially important for the elderly to manage their blood pressure. The study also noted that heart failure, heart attack and stroke occurred more often in older people suffering from high blood pressure.
The only way out of Hypertension is to maintain it at healthy level. Older people with Diabetes need to be even more careful about regulating their blood pressure.
Health care providers and doctors emphasize on an early intervention accompanied by lifestyle changes for people with a reading between 120/80 or 139/89 and medical treatment for people with a reading above 140/90 mm Hg.
It is important to constantly keep blood pressure under check. Now-a-days home test kits are also present in the market.
It is only a healthy lifestyle that will help one with maintaining blood pressure apart from medical treatment. Some of the things that the elderly should take special care of are to maintain an ideal weight, taking food low in salt and high in potassium, quitting smoking, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, stress management, exercising regularly and following proper medication.
Diuretics in combination with other medicines are frequently suggested for older people to control blood pressure.
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