Hypertension, affects one in every three people in the United States; it causes
or worsens severe health concerns like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and diabetes; and it’s nearly symptomless until the damage to arteries and the body is done. That’s a big problem! But it is a problem with a solution and part of that
is finding out what's normal and what's not.
So what’s normal? What is considered high? And what do the numbers mean? Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80, with 120 representing the systolic pressure, or the pressure of your
blood against the walls of your arteries when your heart beats, and 80 representing diastolic pressure, or pressure between heart beats. Anything over 120/80 is considered prehypertensive and hypertension begins at 140/90. Medications are prescribed and recommended
for blood pressures starting at 139/89.
If you’ve heard the words “high blood pressure” in your doctor’s office, the time to make important lifestyle changes has come. If you’re prehypertensive, these lifestyle changes
can help reverse the rise.
Philip Krause, MD, Cardiologist and Director of the Section of Cardiology at NorthShore’s Skokie
Hospital, shares his recommendations for simple changes to make now:
worry about your blood pressure levels? How do you keep it in check?
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and
women. Each year, approximately 600,000 people will die of heart disease, nearly half of them women. And yet many still believe that heart disease is a man’s disease. It’s not.
There are some possible differences, however, between men and
women when it comes to heart disease. Brian Shortal, MD, Cardiologist at NorthShore, discusses these differences and the heart disease
risk factors that are the same for everyone:
Age. Men are considered at cardiovascular risk starting at 40. Women, on the other hand, are considered at cardiac risk starting at 50. That does not mean that women under the age of 50 have
no risk for heart disease, so any symptoms should not be disregarded. The incidence of heart disease between men and women equalizes around 65, and studies then show that women actually begin to surpass heart disease events in comparison to men.
Symptoms. Typically, men exhibit more classic cardiac symptoms, including pain across the chest that radiates down the arms, back and jaw, and shortness of breath. Women might display more atypical symptoms like nausea, vomiting, dizziness
and syncope (fainting/temporary loss of consciousness). In fact, the most common symptom in women over 80 is not chest pain but shortness of breath.
Risk Factors. The risk factors are the same for both men and women. The major
risk factors for coronary artery disease are hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, family history of heart disease, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle. If you think you might be at risk, see your physician for more information.
you know your risk for heart disease?
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in both men and women, but, for men, on average, high blood pressure starts earlier and heart attacks occur earlier. Men, it’s time to be more proactive about your own health! Whatever your age, it’s never
too early to start taking better care of your heart.
The experts at NorthShore University HealthSystem have created an infographic that explores some surprising facts related to heart disease in men, including how their heart health compares to that of women. Click on the image below to view the
full infographic and also learn how you can begin to improve the condition of your heart with simple men’s health tips.