High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a serious health problem among older adults. Your body’s network of blood vessels, called the vascular system, changes with age. As you age, arteries get stiffer, which increases blood pressure. This can be true even for people with heart-healthy habits who otherwise feel fine. High blood pressure, sometimes called “the silent killer,” often does not cause signs of illness that you can see or feel. Although it affects nearly half of all adults, many may not even know they have it.
Suppose high blood pressure isn’t controlled with lifestyle changes and medication. In that case, it can result in major health problems, such as cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease and stroke, vascular, kidney disease, and eye problems. The good news is that blood pressure can be controlled in most people.
According to Cleveland Clinic, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women, but a large percentage of cases are preventable.
Leslie Cho, M.D., Section Head for Preventive Cardiology and Cardiac Rehabilitation at Cleveland Clinic, says: “Heart disease is ninety percent treatable – everyone can prevent heart disease anywhere in the world, especially by eating foods that are low in salt and cholesterol, exercising regularly, and not smoking.” He further says: “Even if a person has a family history of heart disease, heart disease can still be prevented and treated thanks to incredible advances in medicine.
5 Things That Weaken Your Heart
Read on here the five things that weaken your heart and increase your risks of cardiovascular diseases, making you susceptible to heart attack & stroke.
Dr. Nicole Harkin, Preventive Cardiologist and Founder of Whole Heart Cardiology says: “Increased levels of LDL-cholesterol (the ‘bad’ cholesterol) is responsible for building up of plaque in the arteries and leading to blockages or heart attacks. Whereas for some it may partly be due to their genetics, for many, it occurs because of what they eat! Depending on how high cholesterol levels are and the overall risk for cardiovascular disease, the first treatment line is often to reduce cholesterol with dietary changes. Eating less foods high in saturated fats (found in butter, cheese, and red meat) and more fiber-rich foods (found in beans, veggies, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and seeds) can dramatically control your cholesterol.”
Dr. Nicole Harkin says: “Inflammation is one of the main risk factors of heart disease. Whereas cholesterol build-up is necessary to form plaque in the artery, the body’s immune response to this cholesterol formation is also a prime determinant for heart attack and stroke. Chronic elevations of inflammation can be because of autoimmune conditions like lupus but are also seen in those people who are above ideal body weight and some other conditions. Studies have found a close link between the food we eat and inflammation. While foods such as green leafy veggies, yellow veggies, and nuts are among the best anti-inflammatory foods, processed meats, sugary drinks, and refined carbs are highly pro-inflammatory.”
High Blood Pressure
Dr. Harkin further explains: “High blood pressure (also called hypertension) is the force with which blood flows through arteries. It is a very common condition – almost half of all adults in the United States suffer from high blood pressure. High BP causes arterial strain, leading to the risks of heart disease and stroke. Most people don’t know they have it because it doesn’t typically show symptoms. Getting enough exercise, reducing salt and alcohol, and eating lots of unprocessed, whole foods can help control blood pressure.”
According to Dr. Jagdish Khubchandani, MBBS, Ph.D., a professor of public health at New Mexico State University, “Quitting smoking can add almost a decade to someone’s life. So-much-so, within a few minutes of quitting smoking, the heart rate drops, within a few weeks breathing improves, and within a few months the risk of heart disease drops exponentially.”
Stress And Inadequate Sleep
Dr. Khubchandani explains, “Sleep problems and stress have been seen to affect our overall health and the function of our vital organs such as the heart and the brain. High stress and lack of sleep can lead to weight gain, insulin resistance, high blood sugar and heart rate changes, and blood pressure abnormalities. Over a period, these abnormalities cause coronary artery disease or heart attacks by developing cholesterol accumulation in blood vessels, depleting blood supply to the heart and brain, and putting the heart under great pressure.”
About Author: Renu Bakshi, AKA Fitness Buffhq, is ISSA Certified Elite Trainer. He passed Personal Fitness Trainer Course, Nutrition Health Coach course & Specialist Exercise Therapy course from ISSA, the USA obtaining + 97% marks. He shares his experience and knowledge about nutrition and effective workouts to get you in the best shape of your life, no matter how old you may be. The author says: “For me, age is just a number!”