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Hypertension: Effects And Prevention Essay

3072 words - 12 pages

Life expectancy has grown over the last 100 years. This leads to a variety of health issues and problems that affect these elder generations quality of life. According to the United States CDC, one in three American adults suffers from hypertension. With so many Americans having high blood pressure it is no surprise that hypertension is one of the most dangerous conditions, leading to death, in the elderly. Doctors often skip directly to subscription, medications to help control elevated blood pressures, but other problems can arise from these medications, like dementia. The earlier the hypertension is diagnosed, the faster doctors can help create a treatment plan individually tailored to help the sufferer.
What is hypertension? Hypertension is the medical condition, which an individual has elevated blood pressure caused by pressure in the arteries in-between heartbeats (“Hypertension”). Blood pressure is measured by two different analysis’s; systolic pressure, and diastolic pressure. These measurements are generally written in fraction form: 120/76. The first or top number is systolic pressure. It measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart is contracting (American). The second or bottom number is diastolic pressure. This measures the pressure of the arteries when the heart is resting and refilling with blood (American). These measurements help gauge healthy pressure levels, and normal blood pressure falls anywhere below 120/80. The more pressure in the arteries, the harder the heart has to work, and higher risks for serious health problems may occur. This can sound like an exaggeration of probable health problems, but considering that one in three American adults has high blood pressure, there are millions of people at risk.
Hypertension can lead to more serious health problems such as heart failure, heart disease, and stroke. These are three of the leading causes of death in the United States (United “High” 1). Over 68 million individuals have increased possibilities of suffering from one or more of these perilous causes of death (United “High” 1). There is a large population of Americans that are not even aware that they have hypertension.
Most adults are checked at their annual checkups, while the elderly are checked at each physical. Hypertension even affects children. Often times children three and older will be checked at their appointments similar to adults (Mayo “High” 1).
Yearly checking is important because of the millions who have hypertension, the elderly are the most vulnerable; seventy-eight percent of the population 80 years and older will be diagnosed with hypertension (Sutin). Along with the elderly, adults who have already been diagnosed with high blood pressure, or face other risks for cardiovascular disease, will be checked more frequently (Mayo “High” 1).
There are no real indicators of hypertension. “High blood pressure is called the ‘silent killer’ because it often has no warning signs or symptoms, and many...

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