Mayday Hospital Care

Health facts and information on high blood pressure and how you can reduce your high blood pressure risk.
In this article:

  • A silent killer: 16 million Brits diagnosed with high blood pressure.
  • The effects of high blood pressure: Heart disease, heart attacks and strokes.
  • Over 10 tips to reduce your blood pressure.

Health facts and information on high blood pressure and how you can reduce your high blood pressure risk.

A third of all Brits will develop high blood pressure in their lifetime – a silent killer that can lead to heart disease, strokes, diabetes and more. Read our handy health facts to reduce your high blood pressure risk.

Around 16 million people in the UK have high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, and many more have the condition but are unaware of it, as there are no early warning symptoms. In fact, around 24 per cent of Brits are currently living with undiagnosed high blood pressure.

Understanding High Blood Pressure: What is High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure is a reading of 140/90 millimetres of mercury or greater. Although it is often perceived as a condition that concerns only men, it also affects about half of women between the ages of 55 and 64, increasing to more than 60 percent of women over 65.

But although high blood pressure is dangerous and there’s no cure, it can be controlled with the correct medication and a collection of simple lifestyle changes – or better yet, prevented.

High Blood Pressure Information: Health Risks of High Blood Pressure

• High blood pressure can cause heart disease, heart attacks and strokes. Coronary heart disease is the single biggest killer in the UK, and usually, people suffer heart failure after many years of high blood pressure. Every five minutes, someone in the UK has a stroke – that’s 150,000 every year. But over 40 per cent of those strokes could be prevented by the control of high blood pressure. To find out more, Click Here.

• If you have high blood pressure, you are more likely to develop diabetes. Many people with diabetes also have high blood pressure, and the combination can be fatal.

Studies have shown that controlling blood pressure in Type 2 diabetes cuts diabetes-related deaths by 32 per cent. To find out more about Diabetes, Click Here.

• High blood pressure also affects blood flow to the brain and is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s Disease. To find out more about Alzheimer’s, Click Here.

• Erectile dysfunction is often a sign of high blood pressure. In fact, high blood pressure can impair your orgasm, decrease your sex drive and enjoyment, and prevent erections for men and lubrication for women – and that’s linked to hypertension itself, not the medication. If you have high blood pressure, ask your doctor about drugs that will control your condition without affecting your sex life. To find out more, Click Here.

• High blood pressure can also lead to kidney failure.

But don’t despair. You can control your blood pressure and keep it healthy by following a few simple steps. Read on to find out how.

High Blood Pressure Information: Ways to Reduce Your Blood Pressure

• Reduce Your Blood Pressure – Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Two-thirds of Brits don’t get their five a day, but simply by including more fruit, vegetables and whole grains in your diet, you can cut your high blood pressure risk significantly. Gradually cutting back on unhealthy fatty foods helps, too, as fat accumulates in the blood vessel walls and raises blood pressure. Top cholesterol-cutting foods include leafy vegetables, nuts such as almonds, soy and high-fibre foods like oats and barley.

• Reduce Your Blood Pressure – Cut back on the amount of salt you eat, including hidden salts, to less than 6 grams a day. Salt causes water retention, creating pressure on the blood vessel walls, and is one of the major risk factors for high blood pressure. Replace it with other tasty seasonings instead, and steer clear of processed foods like biscuits, ready meals, pies, sausages, and even some cereals. They seem harmless but are packed with saturated fat, sugars and hidden salts.

• Reduce Your Blood Pressure – Get some exercise. Counteract a sedentary lifestyle with some physical activity to get the blood circulating. You don’t have to do hours to see positive results – in fact, it’s best to slowly build up the amount of exercise you do rather than gunning it for a while and then giving up. Ideally, though, you should be doing at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. Exercise whips your heart into shape so it pumps blood more efficiently, and it will also help you lose weight, eliminating another high blood pressure risk – obesity. Exercise is also the only way to get rid of fat deposits around your stomach – which is a lot more dangerous than you may be aware of. Carrying a large percentage of fat in the abdominal cavity – even if the rest of your body is slim – significantly increases your blood pressure, cholesterol and insulin resistance, putting you at greater risk of diabetes, strokes and even infertility. To find out more, Click Here.

• Reduce Your Blood Pressure – Stop smoking. Smoking causes high blood pressure and the carbon monoxide in cigarettes inhibits the blood’s ability to transport oxygen to the heart efficiently.

• Reduce Your Blood Pressure – Cut down on alcohol.

• Reduce Your Blood Pressure – Reduce your stress levels. There’s a well known deadly link between stress, high blood pressure and heart disease. To find out how to beat stress, Click Here.

• Reduce Your Blood Pressure – Drink some milk. Studies have found that people who drink more fat-free milk and have higher intakes of calcium and vitamin D from foods rather than supplements have a lower risk of developing high blood pressure. If you’re not keen on dairy, you can also get your calcium fix from other foods like nuts and seeds, dried fruits, oily fish with bones, beans and pulses. To read more, Click Here.

• Reduce Your Blood Pressure – Cut back on unnecessary painkillers. Research has shown that even common over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen, aspirin, and paracetamol increase your risk of high blood pressure. One recent study showed that people who took 15 painkiller pills in a week were twice as likely to develop hypertension. To find out more, Click Here.

• Reduce Your Blood Pressure – Get enough sleep. If you don’t manage to get enough, catch up with an afternoon nap – researchers have found they lower blood pressure and slow the heart rate by up to 37%. To find out more, Click Here. Can’t sleep? To find out how to beat insomnia, Click Here.

• Reduce Your Blood Pressure—Meditate. Research has shown that it really does reduce blood pressure significantly. One study found that not only does meditation encourage a state of deep rest that combats stress—a known cause of high blood pressure—but it also has far greater blood pressure benefits than other relaxation techniques, lowering risk by 15%—about the same amount as exercising or eating healthily does. To read more, Click Here.

• Reduce Your Blood Pressure – Play with a pet. Studies show that lonely people are far more likely to develop dangerously high blood pressure – and that people with a wide network of friends are considerably less likely to be affected. But if you don’t have a fabulous social network, don’t panic – research has also shown that pets are as effective in keeping blood pressure down as human contact is.