AS Health and Social Care Unit 6

A set of flash cards designed for revision for the Unit 6 Understanding common illnesses, diseases and disorders exam set by the welsh board WJEC.

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Low Blood Pressure

Low blood pressure can protect an individual from some of the risk factors such as eating too much salt, not eating enough fresh fruits and vegetables or even being overweight. 

Low blood pressure is clinically recognised as hypotension and this is when a person's blood pressure has a reading of 90/60 or less. 

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High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure does not always present a person with any problems or symptoms but it is considered to be a major contributory factor in cardiovascular disease, such as strokeor heart disease. This is because it affects blood circulation. High blood pressure makes the heart work harder which will lead to the heart weakening. The increased pressure on the walls of the arteries can cause damage and may result in a blockage or split the wall of the artery (haemorrhage) causing a stroke. 

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Blood Pressure Facts

  • High blood pressure is fairly common. It is thought to affect about 40% of adults in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. 
  • As individuals get older their blood pressure increases. 
  • Individuals of an Afro-Caribbean and or South Asian origin are more likely than other ethnic groups to suffer from high blood pressure. 
  • In 95% of cases there isn't one particular reason for the increase in blood pressure.
  • Lifestyle is an important factor in regulating blood pressure. 
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Risk Factors

Lifestyle Risk Factors 

  • Age
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Poor diet 
  • Lack of exercise 
  • Obesity

Lowering Blood Pressure

  • Change to a healthier diet
  • Stop smoking
  • Take regular exercise 
  • Prescribed drugs/medication
  • Reduce weight and BMI to 'normal'
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Cholesterol is a lipid (fat). It is produced in the liver from the fatty foods that are consumed by the individual. It is considered an important fat with regards to a normal functioning of the body. It helps to ensure that the nerve fibres are kept insulated. It is a building block for hormones and enables the body to produce bile salts. High levels of lipids in the blood (hyperlipidemia) has a serious effect on the health of an individual as it increases their risk of developing a heart attack or stroke. 

Cholesterol is carried in the blood by molecules called lipoproteins. There are three main types of lipoproteins in the body. 

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Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL)

Low density lipoprotein (LDL) is known as the 'bad' cholesterol. It is believed to increase arterial disease. LDL carries cholesterol from the liver to the cells. If there is too much for the cells to use it can cause a harmful build up in the arteries. The blood normally contains about 70% of LDL: this level can however vary from person to person. 

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High Density Lipoprotein (HDL)

High density lipoprotein (HDL) is known as the 'good' cholesterol. It is believed to to help prevent arterial disease. It takes cholesterol away from the cells and back to the liver. It is then usually either broken down or is passed from the body as a waste product. 

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Triglycerides are another type of fatty substance commonly found in the blood. These can be found in dairy products, meat and even cooking oils. Triglycerides are also produced by the liver. Those individuals who are overweight and eat a diet high in fatty or sugary foods, or drink a large amount of alochol, increase their risk of a high trigylceride level. 

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Formula to Calculate BMI

BMI calculation - Formula: 

Weight (KG) divided by Height (M)


Divide answer by height (M) again


70KG divided by 1.75M = 40

40 divided by 1.75M = 22.9 BMI

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BMI Weight Ranges

The BMI weight ranges, as set by the World Health Organisation (WHO) are as follows:

  • BMI of 18.4 or less is classed as underweight for that height
  • BMI of between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered an ideal weight for that height
  • BMI of between 25 and 29.9 is considere dto be over the ideal weight for that height
  • BMI of 30 or over is considered obese and 40 or over is considered morbedly obese
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