What Causes High Blood Pressure: A Cardiologist's Guide

Posted on September 14, 2018


Now, more than ever before, people are taking a vested interest in their health and are able to take charge of their physical well-being. Heart health is a hot topic since heart disease is the top killer of men and women in America. Knowledge is power, and the first step in taking control of your health is knowing your numbers. Read on to learn about blood pressure, why the numbers matter, what causes high blood pressure, what you can do to lower it, and how interventional cardiology services can save a life.

Blood Pressure Numbers

As your heart pumps blood to the body, force is exerted on the walls of your blood vessels. A blood pressure reading measures these numbers, with systolic blood pressure (pressure during heart contraction) written over diastolic blood pressure (pressure when the heart is between beats). A reading that is considered normal includes numbers that are under 120/80, while numbers higher than that indicate elevated blood pressure. Hypertension starts with numbers of 130/90, and higher numbers bring with them myriad health concerns. Elevated blood pressure and hypertension can be dangerous because they cause strain on the heart and contribute to atherosclerosis, stroke, and heart failure.

What Causes High Blood Pressure?

There are several different factors that can impact blood pressure. Lifestyle factors that can lead to high blood pressure include smoking, a diet high in sodium, excessive alcohol consumption, stress, lack of regular exercise, or being overweight or obese. Uncontrollable factors include age, family history of high blood pressure, thyroid disorders, sleep apnea, kidney disease, and other genetic factors. High blood pressure tends to run in families, and, in most cases, the exact cause of your high blood pressure can’t be pinpointed. If you have ever been told you have high blood pressure or have several of the risk factors, it's a good idea to get yours checked regularly and make sure you stay in the safe and healthy zone.


How Can You Lower Your Blood Pressure?

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to gain control of your blood pressure. Cleaning up your diet, limiting alcohol intake, maintaining a regular exercise routine, getting enough quality sleep, managing stress in your life, and getting your weight under control can all help improve blood pressure. If lifestyle changes don’t cut it, or if your doctor recommends it, blood pressure medications can also help improve your numbers and reduce the strain being placed on your heart as it works to pump blood through your body.

If you have questions or concerns about your blood pressure or heart health, set up an appointment with the experts at Peconic Bay Medical Center today. Their interventional cardiology services in Long Island, NY, save lives and improve overall quality of life. Visit https://www.pbmchealth.org to learn more.