Age and Diet with Blood Pressure
BY: ALYA ZOUAOUI
What is blood pressure?
Blood pressure is the pressure of the blood through the arteries in the circulatory system as it leaves the heart and travels through the body. In health, blood pressure is a very important factor, which is probably why you might get it checked almost EVERY time you go to the doctors. When you look at blood pressure (NOT pulse), there are two numbers you would see; systolic and diastolic.
Systolic- measures the pressure in arteries when heart beats and pumps the blood out: top or first number
Diastolic- measures pressure in the arteries between heartbeats, when your heart is relaxed before the next heartbeat: bottom or second number
Healthy blood pressure: 120/80 mm Hg or lower (less than 120 systolic and less than 80 diastolic)
Blood pressure and heart rate, or pulse, might seem the same but are two completely different things:
- Pressure of blood through arteries in the circulatory system as it leaves the heart and travels through the body
- mm Hg (millimeters of mercury)
- The two numbers represent systolic and diastolic pressure
- Number of times heart beats per minute
- BPMs (beats per minute)
- One number represents the BPM
High Blood Pressure
We all know that there are healthy and unhealthy people, so without a healthy blood pressure, what would you have? If your blood pressure is higher than the health standards, you would have hypertension, or lower blood pressure, hypotension.
Hypertension: High Blood Pressure (HBP: 140+ mmHg SYS / 90+ mmHg DIA)
Prehypertension: 120-139 mmHg SYS / 80-89 mmHg DIA
In BP, the blood pumped into and against the arteries, or blood vessels, from the heart are then carried around the body. HBP causes the heart to work even harder to pump blood into the body and contributes to hardening of the arteries and to the development of heart failure, making it dangerous.
Fact: HBP is the second leading cause of chronic kidney disease (CKD) after diabetes.
Some causes for HBP:
Being obese, or lack of physical activity
Overuse of salt intake
Too much alcohol consumption
Genetics (family history of HBP)
Adrenal and thyroid disorders
Common side effects in HBP:
Shortness of breath
Summary of HBP causes:
Essential hypertension has been linked to certain risk factors, and has remained somewhat mysterious. HBP is common to run in families and more likely to affect men than women. Age and race also play a role. The majority of all people with HBP are sensitive to salt and anything more than the body’s need is too much for them and increases their blood pressure. Some other factors that can raise the risk include obesity, diabetes, stress, lack of physical activity, chronic alcohol consumption, and also insufficient intake of potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
Low Blood Pressure
Hypotension: Low Blood Pressure (LBP: lower than 90 mmHg SYS or 60 mmHg DIA)
Some people might have cases where they have more trouble generating a healthy blood supply into their system, causing many issues that can eventually lead to stroke, heart, endocrine, and even neuro problems.
Some causes for LBP:
Blood loss (causes decrease in blood volume)
Lack of sleep
Neurally mediated hypotension
Heart or endocrine problems
Severe infection- septic shock
Allergic reaction- anaphylactic shock
Common side effects in LBP are:
Dizziness or lightheadedness
Dehydration and unusual thirst
Lack of concentration
Cold, clammy, pale skin
Rapid, shallow breathing
How to Prevent Unhealthy Blood Pressure
Parts of Experiment
Dependent: blood pressure
Independent: age, diet
Experimental Group: people being tested
Factors Held Constant: sphygmomanometer
- pencil/paper to record
Get a list of all the people you are going to test, and collect their consent forms (for students).
Record their blood pressure after taking it with the sphygmomanometer, then record the systolic and diastolic measurements.
To healthily measure their blood pressure, wrap the sphygmomanometer about an inch above their elbow and squeeze it to where it is slightly tight. Get them to sit down with their elbow leaning against something and stay completely still without talking or moving.
Make them record what they've eaten and analyze if their diet is healthy or not.
Write down the age of the person being tested.
After gathering all the data, observe and analyze them.
- Write down these observations and evaluate the data to compare the results.
The more body capacity, the higher the blood pressure.
Non-healthy diets had some unusual changes.
Some athletes had higher BP.
The adults had higher BP’S.
Atmosphere that people were in seemed to affect the stillness while being tested.
One slight bit of movement affected the blood pressure by a lot (had to retest).
People with a lack of sleep seemed to have lower blood pressures.
- People who ate at school had higher blood pressures.
Cont. of Table 1
Calculations of Data
Final Conclusion of Data Calculations
Cont. on Table
Diet- When comparing categorical values (Y/N), the best way to compare is by averaging the variables. Since diet individually corresponds to SYS or DIA, you find the mean of them separately then analyze it. Like stated in the hypothesis, people with unhealthy diets have a higher average in SYS and DIA than people with healthy diets. This is not only a statistically true comparison, but also logically.
Age- When comparing the correlation of age to SYS, there is a positive correlation since 0.72 is close to positive 1, and same with age to DIA (0.58 close to positive 1). Since they are both increasing at a close rate, age therefore correlates to SYS and DIA combined.
Sources of Error and Inaccuracies
DaVita, and Susan Dombrowski. "How Diet Can Affect Your Blood Pressure."DaVita. DaVita Healthcare Partners, 2004-2014. Web. 28 Sept. 2014. <http://www.davita.com/kidney-disease/causes/hypertension/how-diet-can-affect-your-blood-pressure/e/5001>.
Dotinga, Randy. "Even a Little Excess Weight Can Boost Blood Pressure: Study – WebMD." WebMD. WebMD News from HealthDay, 10 Sept. 2014. Web. 30 Sept. 2014. <http://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20140910/even-a-little-excess-weight-can-boost-blood-pressure-study>.
National Institutes of Health. "In Brief: Your Guide To Lowering Your Blood Pressure With DASH." In Brief: Your Guide To Lowering Your Blood Pressure With DASH. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2014. <http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/resources/heart/hbp-dash-in-brief-html.htm>.
"Understanding Blood Pressure Readings." Understanding Blood Pressure Readings. American Heart Association, 4 Aug. 2014. Web. 29 Sept. 2014. <http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/AboutHighBloodPressure/Understanding-Blood-Pressure-Readings_UCM_301764_Article.jsp>.
Beckerman, James. "Low Blood Pressure Causes, Symptoms, Normal Ranges, & More." WebMD- Heart Health Center. WebMD, 9 Mar. 2014. Web. 28 Sept. 2014. <http://www.webmd.com/heart/understanding-low-blood-pressure-basics>.
Klodas MD, Elizabeth. "Causes of High Blood Pressure: Weight, Diet, Age, and More." WebMD. WebMD Medical Reference, 6 May 2012. Web. 27 Sept. 2014. <http://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/guide/blood-pressure-causes>.
Klodas MD, Elizabeth. "High Blood Pressure Prevention." Hypertension/High Blood Pressure Center. WebMD, 8 May 2012. Web. 14 Oct. 2014. <http://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/guide/preventing-high-blood-pressure>.
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