The Negative Influence of Smoking on Blood Pressure and the Importance of Measuring Blood Pressure

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Laura finds Lamont’s blood pressure to be high. His systolic and diastolic pressures are above the normal range of 120/80. A blood pressure range of 156/94 would indicate symptoms of stage 1 hypertension. Thus Laura would advise Mr. Lamont to adopt a healthy living style to improve his blood pressure level (Meenakshisundaram, Sethilkumaran, Grootveld, & Thirumalaikolundusubramanian, 2013). Mr. Lamont’s oral temperatures are within the normal range at 99.8o. A slight elevation in his body temperature, to within 1o F of the normal oral temperature, could have been caused by the day temperatures. The normal oral temperature for adults is 98.6o F, which is equivalent to 37o C. Mr. Lamont’s temperature, therefore, does not indicate any signs of infection. The apical pulse is high than the average male adult range of 60 to 100 beats per minute. High pulse rate by Mr. Lamont could indicate tachycardia, a condition associated with dyspnea, which is shortness of breath as seen in Mr. Lamont. Respiration rate is very high in this case. Normal respiratory rate for adults ranges from 12-18 breaths per minute. Though not a conclusive evidence of illness, the extremely high respiration rate manifest serious health concerns for Mr. Lamont. Pulse oximetry for Mr. Lamont is within the normal range of 95 to 100 percent, and thus an indication of healthy oxygen levels in the blood, and no concerns of hypoxemia.

Important concepts in taking blood pressure.

A cuff that is the right size should be chosen. Mis-cuffing is one of the most frequent blood pressure measurement error encountered. The cuff, therefore, should have an 80 percent bladder width and an arm circumference of 40 percent (Frese, Fick, & Sadowsky, 2011).

How does smoking influence blood pressure?

Cigarette smoke contains nicotine which is the primary precursor of cigarette related heart problems. Chemicals contained in tobacco cause damage to the lining of the artery walls causing their damage. Fatty substances then build up leading to atheroma, which is degeneration of the arterial walls, leading to a risk of heart attack due to thrombosis and restricted blood flow. Smoking leads to an immediate elevation of body blood pressure by up to 6mmHg. Nicotine is an adrenergic agonist which mediates the release of local and systemic catecholamine. Adrenaline, one of the central catecholamine makes the heart to beat faster. Also, carbon monoxide present in tobacco smoke reduces the amount of oxygen in blood signaling hypoxia. Hence, the heart is required to pump harder to compensate for the deficiency.

Factors leading to increased respiration.

Smoking could have been the cause of elevated respiratory. Nicotine in smoking leads to damage in the inner lining of arteries causing blockages which force the heart to pump faster (Dinas, Koutedkis, & Flouris, 2013). Cigarette smoke lead to increased levels of carbon monoxide in the system pushing the respiration rate to increase to compensate for the oxygen deficit in both tissues and blood.

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