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Why Blood Pressure Rises with Age

Posted Aug 26 2008 4:03pm 1 Comment

Blood pressure often rises with aging. Contrary to what many doctors think, salt, obesity and alcohol have little to do with this rise.

High blood pressure is associated with heart attacks, strokes, aging and death. Recent research shows that high blood pressure associated with aging is probably caused by damage to the arteries leading to the kidneys. Obesity, excess salt and alcohol cause reversible high blood pressure. Taking a large amount of salt can cause your body to retain fluid, enlarge blood volume and raise blood pressure temporarily, but blood pressure returns to normal soon afterwards. For most people, taking in a lot of salt does not raise blood pressure. Drinking alcohol raises blood pressure only for a short time. Obesity is associated with a sustained high blood pressure at any age, and is usually reversible with weight loss.

Several studies show that damaged kidney arteries, called intimal fibroplasia, are the most likely cause of high blood pressure and that prevention of high blood pressure with aging includes preventing kidney arterial damage by eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and nuts, reducing your intake of processed foods and dairy products, exercising and avoiding overweight. More on the diet that lowers blood pressure

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Blood pressure is the pressure your blood exerts against your blood vessel walls as your heart pumps. Blood pressure rises with each heartbeat and falls when the heart relaxes between beats, but there is always a certain amount of pressure in the arteries.

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