With age, most people develop health conditions and concerns. But is high blood pressure inevitable with time? Find out the connection and how to lower the risk.
- According to researchers, high blood pressure is more common in the elderly, but you can lower the risk with specific measures.
- There are no apparent symptoms of high blood pressure; therefore, it tends to go undiagnosed.
- You can avoid high blood pressure entirely with regular exercise, nutrition support, supplements, and other lifestyle adaptations.
As you become older, nearly all adults experience health issues. So it is no surprise that since high blood pressure affects about half of all American adults, the risk of getting it increases with age.
As per the American Heart Association, individuals have a 69 to 86% chance of developing hypertension from age 20 to 85. This prevalence gradually increases over time as 13% of women between 20 and 34, but by their mid-70s, this is up to nearly 86%.
Over the same period, males see a similar upward trend from around 26% to 80%.
According to Dr. Sandra Taler at the Mayo Clinic:
“Preventing damage is possible by keeping blood pressure well controlled. If you ignore it, that’s when there’s a much higher risk of complications.”
In addition to weakening bones and contributing to erectile dysfunction, hypertension increases your risk of vision loss, dementia, kidney, and circulation problems.
The Research on High Blood Pressure in Old Age
According to JAMA Cardiology, researchers examined blood pressure patterns in the average lifestyle of 32,000 people between the age of 5 and 98. It was found that gender differences are often blamed for age-related high blood pressure.
This is because women’s blood pressure increased more rapidly in their 30s, continuing throughout their life. However, in terms of cardiovascular disease onset, women lag.
According to the study, premenstrual blood pressure fluctuations might contribute to this. After menopause, a woman’s chance of developing high blood pressure and heart disease rises due to hormonal shifts.
With the help of supplements to lower blood pressure, an effective medication regime, and an active lifestyle, you can reduce the chance of developing, whether male or female.
But how does aging affect blood pressure?
Changes in the vascular system are a natural consequence of aging because of decreased elastic tissue. Consequently, your arteries stiffen and become less compliant, leading to a rise in blood pressure.
To be specific, age is associated with an increase in systolic pressure but a decrease in diastolic pressure. This is also true for those with high blood pressure, even if they haven’t experienced symptoms.
But there’s more to it than your age. Genetics, lifestyle, medication, and other existing health conditions contribute to high blood pressure in elders. Kidney disease, sleep apnea, alcohol consumption, obesity, lack of sleep, and smoking cause hypertension.
Likewise, while the human body needs salt, consuming too much of it elevates blood pressure. According to the American Heart Association, adults should consume fewer than 2.3 grams of sodium daily.
The Bottom Line
Despite intensive study, why blood pressure rises with aging remains a mystery.
Although some degree of increase is inevitable with age, the risk can be reduced by adopting the same healthy habits as younger individuals, such as eating a low-fat diet, engaging in regular exercise, and taking medications as prescribed.