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Worried about your elders’ high BP issues? An expert answers commonly asked questions

Published on:7 September 2021, 14:38pm IST
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart diseases and stroke, especially in the elderly. Here's everything you must be aware of.
Aayushi Gupta
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causes of high blood pressure in elderly patients
Blood pressure can be managed with easy ways. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Is something as easy as climbing the stairs or carrying a bag of groceries makes the elderly in your house tire out, remember that it’s a reality for many people who have been diagnosed with heart-related ailments like high blood pressure (BP). The major issue associated with high or low BP is it can go undetected for years. 

In fact, one in eight people are said to suffer from high blood pressure in India, as per the National Health Survey, 2017. And now high BP is one of the leading causes of premature deaths and is directly responsible for about 50% strokes and 25% coronary heart diseases deaths in India. 

When it comes to high blood pressure in the elderly, there are numerous questions that are still floating in our minds. This is why we got in touch with Dr. Anup Taksande, Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Wockhardt Hospital, Mira Road, to answer them all for you!

Q. Why is high blood pressure called a ‘silent killer’ for elderly patients?

Early detection of high blood pressure is the need of the hour. Often referred to as the “silent killer”, high blood pressure may show no symptoms initially. But it can put senior citizens at an increased risk for heart disease, heart failure, and stroke.

Q. What are the symptoms of high blood pressure in elderly people?

Having severe headaches, bleeding nose, chest pain, vision problems, breathing issues, irregular heartbeat, blood in the urine, tiredness, and confusion can be the symptoms of high blood pressure that will require immediate attention.

causes of high blood pressure in elderly patients
Controlling high BP is of the utmost importance. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Q. Enumerate the major health risks that can get triggered due to high blood pressure?

High blood pressure can lead to a heart attack. Yes, you have heard us here! Having hypertension will damage one’s arteries that get blocked and prevent blood flow to the heart muscle. You will be shocked to know that even stroke occurs as hypertension can cause blood vessels in the brain to clog more easily or burst as well.

Q. What should be the normal range of blood pressure that needs to be maintained in elderly patients?

The normal blood pressure range for senior citizens (and everyone else) is less than 120/80. Blood pressure is generally considered too low if it falls below 90/60. You will have to monitor your blood pressure on a regular basis.

Q. What are the major reasons that cause high blood pressure in elderly people?

Not being physically active, age, family history, having too much salt in the diet, using tobacco, and being overweight can invite high blood pressure in the elderly.

Also, read: Your weight can give you high blood pressure. Here’s what you need to know

Q. What are the reasons for low blood pressure in old people?

Low blood pressure may occur owing to dehydration, medication and ageing. You will have to take the help of the doctor to bring your low blood pressure to the normal range. Avoid ignoring your health problems.

causes of high blood pressure in elderly patients
Don’t let blood pressure issues affect your life. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Q. Suggest important tips to keep the blood pressure in control at home?

Try to cut down those excess kilos if you are overweight or obese. Stay physically fit and exercise at home. Eat potassium-rich foods and limit your sodium intake. Say NO to junk and processed foods, quit smoking and alcohol, reduce stress by doing yoga or meditation, and cut down on sugar and refined carbohydrates.

Also, read: How to manage high blood pressure without any medication, according to a top cardiologist

Q. What should you strictly avoid eating if the patient is suffering from high blood pressure?

A: Avoid salt, packaged foods, pizza, pasta, bakery products, canned products, pickles, products containing tomatoes, alcohol, maida, noodles, burgers, chocolate, papad, chana dal, chips, and cheese.

Q. What do elderly people do to tackle low blood pressure at home?

Monitor blood pressure at home with the help of the doctor. Avoid skipping medication and drink more water. Try to include salt in the diet as suggested by the doctor. Eat small meals and exercise daily.

causes of high blood pressure in elderly patients
You can reduce your blood pressure in simple ways. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Q. How can blood pressure affect the kidneys and the need for proper medication?

High blood pressure, or also known as hypertension, is one of the potential causes of kidney disease. Many people with high blood pressure require medicine to bring down the numbers and halt the progression of kidney disease.

Q. When should patients consult the doctor and an approximate figure (statistics) of elderly people suffering from high blood pressure?

Don’t delay and immediately consult the doctor, if the blood pressure is much higher than normal (such as 180/120 or higher). You may also exhibit symptoms like severe headaches and blurry vision.

Takeaway

High blood pressure is a common occurrence in the elderly. It can increase morbidity and mortality in patients. It is essential to keep a tab on your high blood pressure and stay hale and hearty throughout life.

Aayushi Gupta Aayushi Gupta

Candid, outspoken, but prudent--Aayushi is exploring her place in media world.