Having high blood pressure means your blood pressure is consistently too high, with the UK government suggesting that approximately one in four adults worldwide have high blood pressure. It’s often described as a “silent killer” because it rarely causes symptoms. The prevalence of high blood pressure for adults in England in 2015 was 31 percent among men and 26 percent among women, with little change over the last few years, according to Public Health England (PHE).
Blood pressure is defined as the force put on your blood vessels and organs as blood is pumped around your body by your heart.
Blood pressure is recorded with two numbers. The systolic pressure – higher number – is the force at which your heart pumps blood around your body.
The Diastolic pressure – lower number – is the resistance to the blood flow in the blood vessels.
The UK Government says that it is projected to affect more than 1.5 billion people around the world by 2025.
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A review published in the National Library of Medicine states: “Hypertension in particular has been the target of many therapeutic interventions,”
Indeed, “there are numerous studies that show beetroot, delivered acutely as a juice supplement or in bread, significantly reduces systolic and diastolic blood pressure.”
Healthline notes: “Interestingly, beetroot supplements have been shown to reduce blood pressure in people with and without high blood pressure.”
For example, the site says that a review of 11 studies revealed that beetroot juice lowered blood pressure levels in people with and without this condition.
Research suggests that there are often other effective steps that people can take to lower high blood pressure.
The NHS says you may also need to reduce the amount of salt you eat and cut back on alcohol, if you have high blood pressure.
It adds that you may need to consider eating a low-fat, balanced diet – including plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.
It may also be a good idea to drink less caffeine and stop smoking.
PHE suggests that half the adult population in England do not know what their blood pressure reading is.
The only way to find out if your blood pressure is high is to have your blood pressure checked.
NICE recommends that people get their blood pressure checked at least once every five years, and more frequently for people with high to normal blood pressure.
The NHS Health Check, for adults in England aged 40 to 74, is an opportunity for patients to receive regular blood pressure measures. Those who are eligible are invited once every five years.
The NHS says: “Blood pressure readings between 120/80mmHg and 140/90mmHg could mean you’re at risk of developing high blood pressure if you do not take steps to keep your blood pressure under control.”
Nonetheless, having a raised blood pressure reading in one test does not necessarily mean you have high blood pressure, as blood pressure can fluctuate throughout the day.
Some people with high blood pressure may also need to take one or more medicines to stop their blood pressure getting too high.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, increases your risk of serious problems such as heart attacks and strokes, if left untreated.