Understanding High Blood Pressure: The Silent Killer


Hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure, occurs when the force of the blood pushing against the arterial walls becomes elevated and remains elevated for a certain period of time. It is referred to as the “silent killer” due to the lack of symptoms, which can cause harm to the body without the individual being aware. 

High blood pressure (hypertension) can have serious health implications if left untreated. Women are believed to be more susceptible to developing high blood pressure due to life events.

Making positive lifestyle changes such as eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and taking the prescribed medications can help to manage hypertension. If you would like to learn more about the condition and explore potential novel therapies, consider reaching out to hypertension clinical trials in your area.

What is Hypertension?

Hypertension is a medical condition characterized by an increased and sustained force of blood against the arterial walls. It is generally defined as a sustained blood pressure of 140/90mmHg or greater. This force can lead to damage to the blood vessels, heart, brain, and other organs.

Blood pressure can vary depending on activity levels and other factors such as stress, extreme emotions, and stimulants like nicotine and caffeine. It is often lower during sleep or when one is relaxed. 

High blood pressure has no warning signs and many people are not aware that they have it. One can know their blood pressure only by measuring it.

Blood pressure is divided into four categories:

  • Normal blood pressure: Blood pressure in the range of 120/80 mm Hg or less.
  • High blood pressure: The top number (systolic) ranges from 120 to 129 mm Hg, and the bottom number (diastolic) is less than, not greater than, 80 mm Hg.
  • Stage 1 hypertension: The top number (systolic) is between 130 and 139 mm Hg, while the bottom number (diastolic) is between 80 and 89 mm Hg.
  • Stage 2 hypertension: The top number (systolic) is 140 mm Hg or higher, and the bottom number (diastolic) is 90 mm Hg or higher.

Symptoms of High Blood Pressure in Elderly Women

The symptoms of high blood pressure do not change as a person ages. Although women, who are past menopause are at a higher risk for high blood pressure. They may be unlikely to experience any symptoms at all. In older women, high blood pressure is still a silent condition.

However, if you do experience any symptoms, they will most likely be flushing, red spots in front of your eyes, and dizziness. However, the best way for older women to monitor their blood pressure is to keep track of their blood pressure numbers and talk about it with their healthcare provider.

Everyone’s risk of developing high blood pressure rises with age, regardless of gender or sex.

What Causes High Blood Pressure?

There is no single cause of high blood pressure in the majority of people. However, there are a few factors that increase the chances of having it. These are known as risk factors.

Some high blood pressure risk factors are manageable, such as when:

1. Smoking:

When you smoke or vape nicotine, your blood pressure rises. It damages your arteries over time, increasing your chances of having a heart attack or stroke.

2. Consuming excessive amounts of processed foods and salt:

Many processed foods contain a lot of salt. Too much salt causes your body to retain water, raising your blood pressure.

3. Frequent consumption of alcohol:

Blood pressure briefly goes up after drinking alcohol. Regularly exceeding the recommended amount can cause blood pressure to rise over time.

4. Obesity:

You are more likely to develop high blood pressure if you are overweight. Your blood pressure can drop with just a small weight loss.

5. Sedentary lifestyle:

Your blood pressure will be lowered by moving more and sitting less.

6. Stress:

Your blood pressure rises as a result of hormones that are released when you are under stress. The precise connection between persistent stress and long-term high blood pressure is still being investigated by researchers. 

Additional risk factors consist of:

  • Diabetes: Your risk of developing high blood pressure is doubled if you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
  • Having kidney disease or other glandular issues: High blood pressure can be caused by other conditions affecting your kidneys, arteries, heart, or endocrine (gland) system.
  • Aging: Blood pressure naturally rises with age.
  • Certain medications: Birth control pills can also increase your risk of developing hypertension. Inquire with your pharmacist about the side effects of any medications you are taking.
  • Family history: Having a parent, brother, or sister who has high blood pressure makes one more prone to hypertension. Find out if your parents or siblings have high blood pressure.

Complications of High Blood Pressure

Without proper diagnosis, individuals may not realize that their blood pressure is increasing, leading to potentially serious health complications such as stroke, kidney failure, heart attacks, weakened or thickened blood vessels in the kidneys, dementia, and vision problems.

How can we Manage High Blood Pressure?

To effectively manage high blood pressure, it is important to explore various approaches such as; lifestyle modifications, medication, and physical activity.

Medications include:

Beta-blockers help control heart rate and relax blood vessels.

Diuretics help remove excess sodium and water from your body.

Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors (ACE) or Angiotensin ll Receptor Blockers (ARB) are medications that are used to prevent certain substances from constricting blood vessels.

Calcium Channel Blockers are medications that relax the muscles surrounding your blood vessels and slow your heart rate.

Alpha 1 Blockers are used to prevent substances from constricting your blood vessels.

Vasodilators relax the muscles in your arterial walls.

Alpha 2 Agonists for blood vessel relaxation.

If hypertension is caused by an underlying medical condition, you must treat that condition in order to maintain healthy blood pressure.

Lifestyle Changes:

If your high blood pressure is caused by lifestyle factors, you can reduce your risk by doing the following:

  • Reduce your weight.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Eat healthily and exercise regularly.
  • Reduce your salt intake.
  • Limit your alcohol consumption.
  • Incorporate relaxation techniques into your life.


High blood pressure is a health concern that can affect anyone, regardless of age or gender. It is often symptomless, which is why it is referred to as a “silent condition”. It is a serious condition that can lead to strokes, heart attack, dementia, kidney failure, and more if left untreated. For this reason, it is important to have your blood pressure checked by a medical professional at least once a year. To learn more about hypertension, find paid clinical trials in Texas

ALSO READ: Men Can Enhance Their Physical Ability By Exercise

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