High blood pressure
As a general recommendation:
• High blood pressure is considered to be 140/90mmHg or higher
• Ideal blood pressure is considered to be 120/80mmHg
• Low blood pressure is considered to be 90/60mmHg or lower.
Blood pressure is recorded with two numbers: the systolic pressure (higher number) is the force at which your heart pumps blood around your body and the diastolic pressure (lower number) is the resistance to the blood flow in the blood vessels. They’re both measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg). If your blood pressure is too high, it puts extra strain on your blood vessels, heart and other organs, such as the brain, kidneys and eyes. Persistent high blood pressure can increase your risk of a number of serious and potentially life-threatening conditions, such as: heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, heart failure, peripheral arterial disease, aortic aneurysms, kidney disease, and vascular dementia.
You’re at an increased risk of high blood pressure if you:
• are overweight or obese
• are over the age of 65
• have a relative with high blood pressure
• eat too much salt and don’t eat enough fruit and vegetables
• don’t do enough exercise
• drink too much alcohol or coffee (or other caffeine-based drinks) or smoke
The following lifestyle modifications can help prevent and lower high blood pressure:
• reduce the amount of salt you eat and have a generally healthy diet
• cut back on alcohol if you drink too much
• lose weight if you’re overweight
• exercise regularly
• cut down on caffeine and stop smoking
Some patients with high blood pressure may also need to take one or more medicines to stop their blood pressure getting too high. Common blood pressure medications include:
• ACE inhibitors (Ramipril, lisinopril, perindopril).
• Angiotensin receptor blockers (Losartan Candesartan, Irbesartan, losartan, valsartan).
• Calcium channel blockers (Amlodipine, Diltiazem and verapamil).
• Beta-blockers (Bisoprolol, Nebivolol).
• Alpha-blockers (Doxazosin).
• Renin inhibitors (Aliskiren).
• Diuretics (Furosemide, Bumetanide, Bendroflumethiazide).
• Potassium-sparing diuretic (Spironolactone).