Nearly Half of Americans Now Have High Blood Pressure

CNN reports that nearly half of Americans now have high blood pressure, thanks to new standards that have lowered the threshold from 140/90 to 130/80.  This reduced number, which at one time was considered well controlled blood pressure, now increases the size of the market for hypertension drugs. 

A blood pressure reading gives you two numbers. The upper or first number is your systolic blood pressure reading. The lower or second 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, your blood pressure should be about 120/80 without medication.

Studies show consuming 74 grams or more of fructose per day also increases the risk of a 135/85 blood pressure reading by 26 percent, and a reading of 140/90 by 30 percent. To learn more about healthy eating, please see my optimal nutrition plan, which will guide you through the necessary changes step-by-step.

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 many of those in 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 percent of all deaths, or about 7.5 million deaths annually.

For tips on how to control your blood pressure naturally check out my feature article, “Drug-Free Strategies to Lower Your Blood Pressure.”
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