How Old Are Your Arteries?

By Dr. Nieca Goldberg | July 8, 2017 | 18 Comments

A few gray hairs here, a few wrinkles there around the eyes are treated as tell-tale signs of aging; worthy of time, effort, and expense to slow down the process, to the extent practicable.

A similar connection may be made to high blood pressure and vascular aging. Blood vessels stiffen as you get older and increase the resistance to blood being pumped out of your heart. This increased resistance results in high blood pressure.

In an interview with Consumer Reports for the June 2017  issue of Journal Hypertension, I discussed healthy vascular aging. The research showed that more than 30% of people in their 50’s had signs of vascular aging; only 1% over 70 had healthy vascular aging.

The benefits of paying attention to high blood pressure, as soon as it appears cannot be over-stated.  Those pesky gray hairs and crows’ feet lines can be left alone or camouflaged; healthy vascular aging requires your most serious attention.

Here is some good news you can use from the reported research: healthy aging is more likely for women who are leaner, non- diabetic or taking cholesterol medication.  Colorful fruits are winners! They are an important part of the Mediterranean style DASH diet together with exercise to  help lower blood pressure. A healthy lifestyle also helps to promote healthy vascular aging.

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