Symptoms of High Blood Pressure in Seniors

And: a look at new research between blood pressure and mortality rates

High blood pressure (also known as hypertension) increases the chances of having a stroke. Hypertension can also increase your risk of heart disease, kidney disease, among other health problems.

Some things you can do to lower high blood pressure:

  • Eat less salt
  • Exercise more
  • Stop smoking (if necessary)
  • Lose weight (if necessary)
  • Certain medications (if your blood pressure won’t lower naturally)

What are the symptoms of high blood pressure

There are three things you should know about a high blood pressure:

  1. High blood pressure is usually a chronic condition with few or no symptoms.
  2. If symptoms do occur, it’s usually when your blood pressure spikes. It usually does this so suddenly and extremely that it’s considered a medical emergency.
  3. Dizzy spells, headaches and nosebleeds are some of the rare symptoms.

High blood pressure (hypertension) has 2 major categories:

  1. Primary hypertension (also known as essential hypertension): this has no specific cause. Instead, it slowly develops over time, and is most often hereditary.
  2. Secondary hypertension: a high blood pressure is a direct result of a health condition.

To know—definitively—whether you have high blood pressure or not, you need to have your blood tested.

The new research on blood pressure and mortality rates

Oddly enough, this new research shows that for older people who are more mobile, more active with high blood pressure indicates a risk of death. Those who are slow-moving and have high blood pressure are less likely to die from hypertension-related problems.

This research comes out of Oregon State University, and builds on earlier research which showed a relationship between hypertension and death: and it all depends on how frail on older person is—for that study frailty was measured by how fast or slow someone could walk.

The data, which showed that high blood pressure in active older people had higher mortality rate, was collated from a study that looked at 7,500 people 65 and over. Over six years, three analyses where done:

  1. Walking speed—the participants were split up between normal and slow
  2. Grip strength—the participants were split up between weak grip and normal grip

The third analysis was to study the combinations: the results were that the “strongest inverse association between high blood pressure and mortality was for slow walkers with weak grip strength.”[1]

Seeing your doctor for high blood pressure

It’s always a good idea to see your doctor if treatment for blood pressure isn’t working. It is also recommended that if you experience the following, you should call your doctor:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Blurry vision
  • Shortness of breath

If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, don’t wait and see if it goes away. The sooner you see a doctor, the better chance you have of preventing any serious problems.



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