We’ve all seen the commercials. High blood pressure is so frequently talked about that you almost can’t avoid hearing about it daily. But have you checked your blood pressure lately? With age comes a higher risk of this silent killer creeping up on you, so it’s something you can’t afford to ignore.
By definition, blood pressure is the force of blood in the circulatory system. It’s measured by two numbers: the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats (systolic), and the pressure in between beats (diastolic). In seniors, high blood pressure (or hypertension) is considered systolic over 140 and diastolic over 90.
If left untreated, high blood pressure is a primary cause of heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and blindness. Race, genetics, poor diet, and physical inactivity are all linked to high blood pressure, but the exact cause is unknown. With few or no symptoms, it’s something to get checked even if you feel normal.