How can I improve my central aortic pressure?

You can improve central aortic pressure through lifestyle adjustments and certain hypertension medications

Question: How can I improve my central aortic pressure?

Answer: All hypertension may be partially treated by tackling risk factors such as obesity, lack of exercise, excessive drinking and smoking. Medication is often prescribed to treat high blood pressure, but different medications affect blood pressure at different points throughout the body. Some medications may only improve peripheral blood pressure, in arteries throughout your arms and legs. Other blood pressure medications will target your aorta, the largest artery in the body, which extends out from the heart, and can improve central aortic pressure.

Beta-blockers are only effective in treating peripheral blood pressure, and cannot improve central aortic pressure. Calcium channel blockers were shown to be more effective overall, with the CAFE study revealing that they can improve central aortic pressure.

The CAFE study also shows that measuring blood pressure in the arm makes it appear that beta-blockers are more effective than they truly are, as they're only lowering peripheral blood pressure and can not improve central aortic pressure. Measuring peripheral blood pressure in the arm will not give the complete picture. Angiotensin II receptor antagonists (ARBs) can improve central aortic pressure as well as peripheral pressure, and are the medication of choice to treat hypertension surrounding the heart.

If you have not had your central aortic pressure checked, ask your doctor to do so. There is a variety of medication available that treats blood pressure, but only calcium channel blockers and ARBs can improve central aortic pressure.