Investing & Trading Stocks Can Be Stressful, Check Your Blood Pressure
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 33% American adults (70+) have high blood pressure. About 50% have uncontrolled high blood pressure, which increases your risk for a number of serious health problems, including:
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Cognitive decline, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
Overall, men tend to have higher blood pressure than women, and while high-income nations have seen a significant decline in hypertension, prevalence in low- and middle-income countries, such as South Asia and Africa, is spiking.
According to researchers, prevalence is “completely inverse” to national income.
Worldwide, high blood pressure is thought to cause nearly 13% of all deaths, or about 7.5-M deaths annually.
A blood pressure reading gives you 2 numbers.
The upper or 1st number is your systolic blood pressure reading.
The lower or 2nd number is your diastolic pressure.
For example, a blood pressure reading of 120 over 80 (120/80) means you have a systolic arterial pressure of 120 and a diastolic arterial pressure of 80.
Your systolic pressure is the highest pressure in your arteries. It occurs when your ventricles contract at the beginning of your cardiac cycle. Diastolic pressure refers to the lowest arterial pressure, and occurs during the resting phase of your cardiac cycle.
Ideally, our blood pressure should be about 120/80 without medication.
If over the age of 60, your systolic pressure is the most important cardiovascular risk factor. If you’re under 60 and have no other major risk factors for cardiovascular disease, your diastolic pressure is believed to be a more important risk factor.
According to guidelines issued by the Joint National Committee (JNC) on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation and Treatment of High Blood Pressure in Y 2014, the following blood pressure classifications are used to determine whether you might sufer from hypertension:
Blood Pressure Classification Systolic Pressure (mmHg) Diastolic Pressure (mmHg)
Stage 1 Hypertension
Stage 2 Hypertension
If you are between the ages of 18 and 59 without major health conditions, or if you are 60 or older with diabetes and/or chronic kidney disease, conventional medicine recommends drug treatment if your blood pressure is at or above 140/90.
In those over 60 who do not have diabetes or chronic kidney disease, the panel suggests delaying drug treatment until you are above 150/90.
According to the JNC panel members: “For all persons with hypertension, the potential benefits of a healthy diet, weight control and regular exercise cannot be overemphasized. These lifestyle treatments have the potential to improve BP control and even reduce medication needs. Although the authors of this hypertension guideline did not conduct an evidence review of lifestyle treatments in patients taking and not taking antihypertensive medication, we support the recommendations of the 2013 Lifestyle Work Group.”
While recommending diet and exercise is a step in the right direction, the panel did not take it all the way. The medical experts I have spoken to say, even stage 1 and 2 hypertension can be successfully addressed with lifestyle interventions, to where drugs become unnecessary.
The Key is to be aggressive in your diet and lifestyle modifications.
There are plenty of clinical success stories that vouch for this stance. That said, if you have seriously elevated blood pressure, it would be wise to be on medication to prevent a stroke while you implement these lifestyle changes.
Eat healthy, Be healthy, Live lively