At What Age Do You Need to Start Worrying About High Blood Pressure?

You know by now that high blood pressure can be a major threat to your health — and the scariest part about the condition is that it typically comes with no symptoms. Even so, when your blood pressure is high, you should know what’s going on in your body. When your reading is over 140/90, it’s an indication that the force of your blood is pressing too aggressively against your arterial walls. This causes your heart to work harder and thus can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and issues with your vision.

If you haven’t checked your blood pressure in awhile, no matter how old you are, you should do so. You may think you’re in the clear if you’re young, but that may not be the case. Here’s the truth about age and blood pressure.

High blood pressure is becoming more common in men under 35

Doctor and patient

Doctor talking to her male patient | Gpointstudio/iStock/Getty Images

You’re probably more likely to get your blood pressure checked regularly once you’re in your later years of middle age — but WebMD warns that this is a bad strategy. More young men than ever have hypertensive number and have no idea. And one of the bigger issues is that because they don’t exhibit symptoms, they’re also less likely to return to a doctor and get it treated. Additionally, many young men have prehypertension, though those numbers are likely to go up as they age if they leave them untreated now.

The publication notes that younger men are more likely to have high diastolic pressure (the second number on a blood pressure reading). This signals that the heart is pumping harder than it should be. Older men typically have higher systolic pressure (the first number on the reading), which stiffens the arteries.

So, why are more young men than ever before developing high blood pressure? Increased body mass is partially to blame. Rising rates of obesity in younger people directly correlates with rising hypertension rates.

Your blood pressure is likely to change with age

Group of seniors playing cards

Group of seniors playing cards | Wavebreakmedia/Getty Images

Verywell reminds us that as you age, you have a higher likelihood of developing high blood pressure — and studies have shown up to 80% of folks over the age of 65 have hypertensive numbers. More specifically, systolic blood pressure (the first number on your reading) typically rises as you age, and the diastolic number reduces.

If you have high blood pressure in your youth, this could spell trouble as you age. The publication notes that even if you have your hypertension controlled with medication in your early years, you’re still likely to see an increase in those numbers as you age despite the prescriptions you may be on.

As for why you’re likely to see your blood pressure increase with age, it has a lot to do with your heart, your arteries, and your hormones. As you get older, your heart may not work as efficiently as it once did, and other changes may take place in your arteries that can lead to issues. Additionally, people over the age of 65 may over-salt their foods because of less sensitive tastebuds.

When should you worry about high blood pressure?

Older Blood Pressure measurement

Doctor taking senior man’s blood pressure | Monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images

If you’re looking for a specific age to start checking your blood pressure regularly, the truth is that it needs to be totally catered to the individual. If you have a normal blood pressure of 120/80, WebMD recommends you should get it checked every two years to make sure it stays in this normal range. If your blood pressure is within a prehypertension range (above 120/80), you should get it checked once a year, or more often if your doctor suggests it. High blood pressure (above 140/90) will need to be watched even more carefully by medical professionals.

In truth, you should always know your numbers, no matter what your age is. Since blood pressure levels are rising in youths, it’s never too early (or too late) to become knowledgable of your health.

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