Plasticine human brain and heart sitting on a bench in park and holding hands.

Hypertension and Brain Health

Our body is a connection of systems that work coordinated from our cells to our organs. Two such important systems are the cardiovascular and neurological systems – more commonly known as heart and brain, respectively. Research shows that hypertension, or high blood pressure, can be a crucial factor in cognitive deterioration starting as early as middle age. The American Heart Association considers blood pressure above 130/80 mm Hg as high blood pressure. Most times when your blood pressure rises you do not feel any symptoms, but the strain on the blood vessel walls causes them to thicken, and cholesterol plaques form, hence, narrowing the passage and limiting the blood flow to the heart and brain. The damage this causes can be as subtle as silent strokes to the brain, but severe when they occur frequently and noticeable in impairments with learning and memory.
The prevalence of hypertension is so high and common worldwide, according to the CDC, 45 to 50% of adults are diagnosed with hypertension in the United States alone. Three facts that you should be aware of:

  1. While our race, ethnicity, and family history have importance in our risk, our lifestyle plays a more significant role.
  2. The good news is you can prevent this silent killer. You have more power over your body than you realize! Lifestyle is the key to prevention, treatment and reversion of hypertension and its complications.
  3. In over 90% of cases of hypertension, the causes are overweight or obesity, sedentary lifestyle, poor nutrition and eating habits, stress factors and alcohol intake. In most of the remaining 10% of the cases, it involves an underlying disease that can be prevented through lifestyle changes.

The bottom line is taking care of your heart and health with preventive factors that are under your control. Your heart is in your hands!

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