- According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 50 million American adults have high blood pressure. Let that sink in for a moment. That’s ten times more than the total number of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease (5 million). It’s more than the total number of people with gym memberships (45,300,000). And it’s even more than the number of Americans born within the past 12 years.
While the causes of high blood pressure (also called hypertension) can vary, researchers have seen a connection between stress and repeated blood pressure elevations. Some of the most common causes of stress include:
- Job strain
- Poor nutrition
- Media overload
- Sleep deprivation
When you’re feeling stressed, your body naturally produces hormones that can temporarily increase blood pressure. Those hormones cause your heart to beat faster and, in turn, your blood vessels narrow. The longer you feel stressed, the longer it may negatively affect your blood pressure. In addition, other negative behaviors that are often linked to stress – like unhealthy eating and not exercising – may promote high blood pressure.
So while stress is not a direct cause of high blood pressure, it can lead to repeated blood pressure spikes. Over time, those blood pressure elevations can cause high blood pressure. Studies have shown, therefore, that stress has an effect on the development of high blood pressure.
The Importance of Understanding Your Risk Factors with Health Screenings
If you’re often feeling stressed, it’s important to be aware of the state of your blood pressure. Many people do not experience symptoms of high blood pressure. And while high blood pressure may not seem life-threatening, if left undetected or untreated it can lead to serious, sometimes fatal health conditions like a stroke or heart attack.
If you or a loved one has high blood pressure, consider a free online health risk assessment that can help you learn more about your risk of carotid artery disease which can lead to stroke, diabetes, heart disease, cognitive heart failure or other serious conditions. This assessment only takes 5 minutes and is designed to help you better under your risk factors and most importantly, tell you what preventive health screenings are right for. Preventive health screenings provide useful health insight allowing your personal physician to minimize your futures risks.
High blood pressure may not seem dangerous, but it can lead to chronic illnesses if not managed properly. Be proactive with your health by learning more about a health risk assessment from Life Line Screening today.