Why Millennials Need To Worry About Their Blood Pressure
At 24 years of age I have never given my blood pressure a seconds thought. I don’t particularly know what it relates to, how that cuff works or what a good blood pressure even is. I always thought I would cross that bridge when I come to it, in hopefully many years time. But new research reveals millennials are the ones most affected by a host of blood pressure raising factors and therefore are the fastest growing ‘at risk’ generation when it comes to developing hypertension.
Hypertension (HTN or HT), also known as high blood pressure (HBP), is a long-term medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is persistently elevated. High blood pressure usually does not cause any noticeable symptoms. Long-term high blood pressure, however, is a major risk factor for coronary artery disease, stroke, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, peripheral vascular disease, vision loss, chronic kidney disease and dementia.
A survey of consisting of 2,000 respondents by Kinetik Wellbeing, showed that 96% of millennials are highly stressed about a variety of factors; from brexit uncertainty (36%), to the housing market (39%) and that they are over weight and have bad drinking habits (42%). All risks directly linked to high blood pressure, which can be a key cause of heart attacks and strokes regardless of age!
The results revealed that millennials’ rank the highest of all generations when it comes to:
● Drinking 3-4 times a week (30%)
● Eating foods high in salt and fat 3-4 times a week (32%)
● Only getting their ‘five a day’ 1-2 times every week (32%)
● Never exercising (16%)
● Only sleeping for eight hours 1-2 times a week (35%)
Even though, we are the fastest growing ‘at risk’ generation of developing high blood pressure, like me, most millennials are the least aware of what a healthy blood pressure number is. Only 40% could determine what a healthy blood pressure reading was, compared to 48% of 35-44 year olds, 57% of 45-54 year olds, and 62% of those aged 55+.
The results also reveal that 93% of millennials don’t believe it’s important to know their blood pressure measurements. Reasons given were; that it doesn’t cross their mind unless there’s a problem (52%), lack of time (21%) and difficulty of knowing what to do (19%). Just 8% proactively make regular blood pressure health checks, compared with 16% of 35-44 year olds, 21% of 45-54 year olds, and 33% of those aged 55+ who check regularly.
James Grover, Head of Product Technology at Kinetik Wellbeing said “It’s estimated that 16 million people have high blood pressure, of which seven million people are unaware that they have it. High blood pressure is known as the silent killer, because unless you test for it you don’t know you have a serious condition until you need medical intervention.”
Dr Pixie McKenna, Superdrug’s Health ambassador, said; “Blood pressure is no longer an older person’s ailment. Lack of exercise, stress, excessive alcohol consumption, excess weight and excess salt in the diet are some of the lifestyle issues which can cause blood pressure to climb. Millennials are now more at risk of these factors than any other age group and can therefore be most at risk of developing high blood pressure. I see it every day in my own patients.”
How To Measure Your Blood Pressure
Kinetik Wellbeing have since developed an at home blood pressure monitoring device you can use to take a reading any time and it is only £35, check it out HERE. Whilst I like to think I am a very health young bloke that makes good lifestyle choices I am now taking a reading at least once per month with this device just to keep an eye on it.
My last blood pressure reading was 94 over 62. To determine whether this is good or not take a look at the below.
There are two parts to your blood pressure: Systolic & Diastolic. If my blood pressure is 94 over 62, it means that my systolic pressure is 94 and my diastolic pressure is 62. Both of which are below the American Heart Association’s blood pressure chart readings for normal blood pressure. To see what category you fall into, take a reading and head to the chart, HERE.
Normal Blood Pressure
Systolic: Less than 120
Diastolic: Less than 80