Hypertension (or high blood pressure) is a significant factor in heart disease – so why do so many people have high blood pressure?
High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of heart disease, increasing the risk for heart attacks and strokes. In 2018, an estimated 103 million adults in the U.S. had hypertension according to a report by the American Heart Association (AHA).
“With the aging of the population and increased life expectancy, the prevalence of high blood pressure is expected to continue to increase,” said epidemiologist Dr. Paul Muntner, co-chair of the group that wrote the report.
Between 2005 and 2015, the death rate from hypertension rose by nearly 11% and actual deaths rose by almost 38%. According to Muntner, a professor and vice-chair in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, hypertension is the most common cause of cardiovascular disease-related deaths worldwide.
In 2017, the AHA released new blood pressure guidelines that redefined hypertension as 130 systolic BP over 80 diastolic BP. Because the older guidelines were 140/90, a higher percentage of adults now qualify as having hypertension (about 14% more).
“Before this guideline, if your blood pressure was at 130, you [didn’t] do anything,” says cardiologist Dr. Kenneth Jamerson, an author of the high blood pressure guidelines. “With the new [high blood pressure] guideline, we’re having patients do something about it.”
Some of the things individuals can do are increase their physical activity levels and eat healthier foods. For example, they can exercise 30 minutes per day, 5 days a week, and eat the DASH or Mediterranean diet.
While the new guidelines may have increased the percentage of people with hypertension, it is not the only factor. In fact, only about 1 in 5 U.S. adults get enough exercise; in addition, poor eating habits contribute to about 45% of heart disease-related deaths.
Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide, with heart disease taking the top spot in the U.S. Nevertheless, Dr. Emelia Benjamin, who led the group that wrote the statistics report, believes that progress is underway.
“We’ve made incredible inroads in cardiovascular disease. There’s a real focus on improving health by adopting a healthy lifestyle, not just waiting to develop disease before one focuses on risk factors.”
If you want to take care of your heart health, start by exercising regularly and eating healthily. You can also get an extra boost from daily heart supplements like L-arginine Plus.
It contains a combination of ingredients that promote better circulation, higher energy levels, and more. Give your heart health the support it needs and take L-arginine Plus as part of your new health regimen.