Blood pressure, throughout the range seen in developed countries, is the most important risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Lowering blood pressure within the whole population by lifestyle interventions, such as reducing dietary salt intake and increasing the consumption of fruit and vegetables, will be of great benefit. Blood pressure-lowering trials also demonstrate immense benefits in preventing strokes, heart failure and coronary heart disease. There are no differences in outcome between the different methods used to lower blood pressure and the benefit is proportional to the degree of blood pressure-lowering.
Thiazide diuretics are effective in lowering blood pressure and have been the most widely prescribed blood pressure-lowering drugs. They work by causing both sodium and water loss, but also cause potassium loss and a fall in plasma potassium levels. The latter may mitigate the beneficial effects from blood pressure-lowering. Some diuretics, such as spironolactone, affect the distal tubule and do not cause a fall in plasma potassium levels. However, spironolactone has endocrine side-effects associated with the fact that it is not specific for the mineralocorticoid receptor. The development of a more selective aldosterone antagonist without endocrine side-effects could be a major advance as it would be able to oppose the effects of aldosterone, both on sodium retention and potassium loss and the other vascular effects.
Blood pressure comes from an increase in resistance of the arteries. Due to this resistance, your heart has to work harder to get blood to your extremities and vital organs. Over time, this can have detrimental effects on your body and health. Therefore, it is important to control your hypertension for several reasons.
Improve Your Heart Health
When you have high blood pressure, you are 3 times more likely to die from heart disease. Hypertension is caused by hardened arteries and hardened arteries cause hypertension. This is a vicious cycle that you have the power to break.
Decrease Your Chance of a Stroke77 percent of people who have their first stroke have high blood pressure. A stroke is when an area of your brain is not receiving enough blood, and therefore oxygen, to operate properly. This can be due to a blocked artery (ischemic stroke) or an artery that broke (hemorrhagic stroke). Hypertension causes damages to these arteries that make a stroke more likely to happen.
Protect Your Kidneys
When a person’s blood pressure is high, it can stretch the fragile filtering system of the kidneys. Over time, this stretch can become permanent causing the kidneys to be less efficient in filtering your blood. Once this happens, it is known as chronic kidney disease with the end stages requiring costly dialysis or kidney transplants.
Improve Your Quality of Life and Increase Your Life-span
In 2013, almost 1,000 deaths per day in America were caused by hypertension. By decreasing your blood pressure and keeping it controlled, you are 25 percent less likely to die from cardiovascular disease.
Reduce Out of Pocket Expenses
Spend a little money now and save a lot later. High blood pressure costs the nation nearly 50 billion dollars each year. By keeping your blood pressure under control now, you can reduce the amount of time you can spend in the hospital and reduce future costs.