Various factors affect your risk of developing high blood pressure – and age may be one of them. Does blood pressure increase with age? Let’s find out.
Almost 50% of adults in the U.S. have high blood pressure (hypertension) – and age can play a role in developing it. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), people ages 20 to 85 have a 69% to 86% lifetime risk.
While age is definitely a risk factor, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will get high blood pressure. Dr. Jim Liu, a cardiologist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, believes that hypertension doesn’t have to be a normal part of aging.
Women and High Blood Pressure
According to an article available in JAMA Cardiology, there is a difference in blood pressure between men and women. “Women typically lag behind men in terms of age of onset for cardiovascular disease,” says Liu.
Gabriela Nakano, a cardiovascular nurse practitioner at St. Jude Medical Center, says that women can experience an increased risk for heart disease after menopause. “This is why it is important for women to start being active at any age and maintain a healthy lifestyle throughout,” says Nakano.
Causes of High Blood Pressure
As you age, the elastic tissue in arteries decreases, resulting in stiffer arteries that make it harder for effective circulation. Moreover, other factors like genetics, lifestyle, medications, and diseases can also affect your blood pressure levels.
For example, sleep apnea, kidney disease, smoking, and excess sodium in your diet can all contribute to higher blood pressure. The AHA recommends a maximum of 1.5-2.3 grams of sodium per day – even if you don’t have hypertension.
Unlike a lot of health conditions, high blood pressure doesn’t generally cause any symptoms (hence its nickname: “the silent killer”). This is why it’s important that you check your blood pressure; any readings above 129/80 mean you have hypertension.
If you’re over 18, Liu recommends that you at least get annual screenings that check your blood pressure. However, Nakano says that at-home monitors may not always work, so make sure you calibrate them with your doctor.
Changing Risk Factors
While age and genetics are out of your control, you can change your lifestyle habits to healthy ones. For example, you can take part in the DASH diet, an eating plan designed to lower blood pressure.
Exercising regularly also helps, so make sure you get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week. However, if your readings are consistently above 140/90, you may also need medications to control your high blood pressure.
Even though age may be a factor in developing high blood pressure, it doesn’t mean you will get it. If you want to decrease your risk, exercise regularly, eat healthily, and take daily heart supplements like HeartBeet Complete.
Its ingredients help promote nitric oxide production, a natural compound that improves circulation. Try HeartBeet Complete along with exercise and dieting if you want to give your blood pressure the support it needs.