According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 50% of people age 50 and older have high blood pressure. Women are about as likely as men to develop high blood pressure, though this varies somewhat by age. For people younger than age 45, more men than women are affected, while for those age 65 and older, more women than men are affected. Americans of African descent develop high blood pressure more often and at an earlier age than those of European and Hispanic descent.
Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. These medications — such as lisinopril (Zestril), benazepril (Lotensin), captopril (Capoten) and others — help relax blood vessels by blocking the formation of a natural chemical that narrows blood vessels. People with chronic kidney disease may benefit from having an ACE inhibitor as one of their medications.
Lifestyle changes can help lower the risk of developing hypertension. For many people with mild high blood pressure, reaching and maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, limiting alcohol and salt, and stopping smoking can decrease blood pressure levels to normal and may be the only "treatment" required. Risks associated with sex (gender), race, and increasing age, however, do not disappear with lifestyle changes and, in many cases, a treatment plan that includes medications is necessary to control high blood pressure.
In most people with established essential hypertension, increased resistance to blood flow (total peripheral resistance) accounts for the high pressure while cardiac output remains normal. There is evidence that some younger people with prehypertension or 'borderline hypertension' have high cardiac output, an elevated heart rate and normal peripheral resistance, termed hyperkinetic borderline hypertension. These individuals develop the typical features of established essential hypertension in later life as their cardiac output falls and peripheral resistance rises with age. Whether this pattern is typical of all people who ultimately develop hypertension is disputed. The increased peripheral resistance in established hypertension is mainly attributable to structural narrowing of small arteries and arterioles, although a reduction in the number or density of capillaries may also contribute.
Hypertension is one of the most common worldwide diseases afflicting humans and is a major risk factor for stroke, myocardial infarction, vascular disease, and chronic kidney disease. Despite extensive research over the past several decades, the etiology of most cases of adult hypertension is still unknown, and control of blood pressure is suboptimal in the general population. Due to the associated morbidity and mortality and cost to society, preventing and treating hypertension is an important public health challenge. Fortunately, recent advances and trials in hypertension research are leading to an increased understanding of the pathophysiology of hypertension and the promise for novel pharmacologic and interventional treatments for this widespread disease.
In the Framingham Heart Study, the age-adjusted risk of congestive heart failure was 2.3 times higher in men and 3 times higher in women when the highest BP was compared to the lowest BP.  Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial (MRFIT) data showed that the relative risk for coronary artery disease mortality was 2.3 to 6.9 times higher for persons with mild to severe hypertension than it was for persons with normal BP.  The relative risk for stroke ranged from 3.6 to 19.2. The population-attributable risk percentage for coronary artery disease varied from 2.3 to 25.6%, whereas the population-attributable risk for stroke ranged from 6.8-40%.
Learning about the disease and actively participating in the treatment is important, since complications are far less common and less severe in people who have well-managed blood sugar levels. The goal of treatment is an HbA1C level of 6.5%, but should not be lower than that, and may be set higher. Attention is also paid to other health problems that may accelerate the negative effects of diabetes. These include smoking, elevated cholesterol levels, obesity, high blood pressure, and lack of regular exercise. Specialized footwear is widely used to reduce the risk of ulceration, or re-ulceration, in at-risk diabetic feet. Evidence for the efficacy of this remains equivocal, however.
Metabolic syndrome between pregnancies increases the risk of recurrent preeclampsia, according to a retrospective cohort study of 197 women who had preeclampsia during their first pregnancy. Of the 197 women, 40 (20%) had metabolic syndrome between pregnancies. Of these 40 women, 18 (45%) had preeclampsia during their second pregnancy, compared with 27 (17%) of the 157 women without metabolic syndrome between pregnancies. The risk of recurrent preeclampsia increased with the number of components of the metabolic syndrome present. [68, 69]
If you are diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, the goal of treatment will be to reduce your risk of developing further health complications. Your doctor will recommend lifestyle changes that may include losing between 7 and 10 percent of your current weight and getting at least 30 minutes of moderate to intense exercise five to seven days a week. They may also suggest that you quit smoking.
^ Grundy SM, Cleeman JI, Daniels SR, Donato KA, Eckel RH, Franklin BA, Gordon DJ, Krauss RM, Savage PJ, Smith SC, Spertus JA, Costa F (October 2005). "Diagnosis and management of the metabolic syndrome: an American Heart Association/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Scientific Statement". Circulation. 112 (17): 2735–52. doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.105.169404. PMID 16157765.
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Dietary changes: The health care provider might recommend a diet that includes more vegetables (especially leafy green vegetables), fruits, low-fat dairy products, and fiber-rich foods, and fewer carbohydrates, fats, processed foods, and sugary drinks. He or she also might recommend preparing low-sodium dishes and not adding salt to foods. Watch out for foods with lots of hidden salt (like bread, sandwiches, pizza, and many restaurant and fast-food options).