Dr. Ameet Sattur, Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, HCG Suchirayu hospital Hubli
Cardiac health is a crucial aspect of overall well-being, and recent research has shown that even “high-normal” blood pressure in young adults can spell risk for heart failure later in life. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke, and can lead to a host of serious health complications if left untreated. High-normal blood pressure is defined as a systolic blood pressure (the top number) between 130-139 mmHg or a diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) between 85-89 mmHg. This is higher than the standard normal range of less than 120/80 mmHg, but not high enough to be classified as hypertension. This condition is becoming increasingly common among young adults and it is important to understand the symptoms, risk factors, treatment and prevention of high-normal blood pressure.
Signs and risk factors of high-normal blood pressure
One can have high blood pressure (hypertension,) for years without any symptoms. Even without symptoms, damage to blood vessels and heart continues and can be detected. Uncontrolled high blood pressure increases the risk of serious health problems, including heart attack and stroke. It is often called ‘the silent killer’, as it does not usually cause any symptoms until it is at a more advanced stage. However, some people may experience signs such as headaches, fatigue, and shortness of breath.
Risk factors of high-normal blood pressure include family history, obesity, smoking, unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity, stress, and excessive alcohol consumption. Individuals who are overweight or obese, have a family history of hypertension, or have an unhealthy diet, are at an increased risk of developing high-normal blood pressure.
High normal blood pressure and its impact on the young adults
Young adults, particularly those in their 20s and 30s, may not consider themselves at risk for heart disease, but research has shown that high-normal blood pressure in this age group can lead to a much higher risk of heart failure later in life. High-normal blood pressure is considered to be related to the gradual damage to the heart and blood vessels over time. High blood pressure can lead to the thickening and stiffening of the heart, which can make it harder for the heart to pump blood effectively. It can also damage the blood vessels, making them more prone to blockages and ruptures.
Treating high-normal blood pressure
Treatment of high-normal blood pressure is often focused on lifestyle changes, such as maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise, which can help to lower blood pressure. Maintaining a healthy weight, reducing salt intake and increasing potassium intake, and limiting alcohol consumption can also help to lower blood pressure. Medications may also be prescribed by a doctor if lifestyle changes alone are not sufficient to lower blood pressure. Some common medications used to lower blood pressure include diuretics, ACE inhibitors, beta blockers, and calcium channel blockers.
Preventing high-normal blood pressure
● Lifestyle changes, such as maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise, can be effective in managing blood pressure.
● Maintaining a healthy weight, reducing salt intake and increasing potassium intake, and limiting alcohol consumption can also help to lower blood pressure.
● It’s also important to note that regular check-ups with the doctor can help to monitor blood pressure, and any signs of hypertension. Early detection and treatment can prevent further health complications and can lead to a better quality of life.
In conclusion, high-normal blood pressure in young adults can spell risk for heart failure later in life. Young adults should be aware of the risks and take steps to lower their blood pressure to prevent heart failure later in life. By making healthy lifestyle choices and monitoring blood pressure regularly, individuals can reduce their risk of developing high-normal blood pressure and prevent further health complications.