To begin with, it’s worth quantifying just how bad asthma is in the United States. A recent study found that seventeen percent of Americans aged 12 through 19 had asthma, compared to eight percent of the same age group in Great Britain. When all ages were taken into consideration, the comparative rate remained about the same: 13% of Americans vs. six and a half percent of Brits.(1)
There is not much clinical proof of a direct causal link between asthma and high blood pressure.(2) Even when study subjects are calibrated to take into account variables such as social economic status, physical activity, and body mass index (BMI), the causal link between high blood pressure and asthma just isn’t there.
While some research has shown that asthma can heighten the likelihood of cardiovascular disease and related symptoms such as high blood pressure, the scientific consensus is that more research is needed. However, a direct link has been clearly identified between asthma medicines and high blood pressure.(3) Perhaps even more surprisingly, the reverse has also been found to be true.(4) Some high blood pressure medicines such as beta blockers have been found to trigger asthma symptoms.
The kinds of things that directly cause high blood pressure include chronic kidney problems, thyroid disease and sleep apnea. Women who take birth controls also typically experience a rise in their blood pressure rate.
But perhaps the greatest causes of all when it comes to HBP is age. As people grow older, the human body gradually breaks down. During this gradual decline, other problems and ailments such as asthma may become intertwined with increased blood pressure, without really being linked.
Later on in life, women who opt for menopausal hormone treatments can once again, just like when they were on birth control pills, experience a rise in blood pressure. In the case of young children below the age of 12, high blood pressure typically is caused by kidney disease or some other more serious condition than asthma.
(1) U.S. News & World Report – “Americans Have Worse Health Than English Peers, Study Finds”, March 9, 2011, Retrieved August 9, 2011 from http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/boomer-health/articles/2011/03/09/americans-have-worse-health-than-english-peers-study-finds
(2) University of Amsterdam – “Relationship Between Asthma and High Blood Pressure Among Adolescents in Aracaju, Brazil”, Retrieved August 9, 2011 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20604676
(3) National Institutes of Health – What Causes High Blood Pressure, Retrieved August 9, 2011 from http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/Hbp/HBP_Causes.html
(4) American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology – “Medications May Trigger Asthma Symptoms”, Retrieved August 9, 2011 from http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/asthma-library/medications-that-can-trigger-asthma-symptoms.aspx