According to the CDC, high blood pressure affects nearly half of the adult population in the United States, yet many people who have the condition don’t know they have it.
Uncontrolled high blood pressure raises the risk for heart disease and stroke, leading causes of death in the United States.
High blood pressure is treatable and preventable.
Almost every case of high blood pressure is treatable and preventable. To lower your risk, get your blood pressure checked regularly and take action to control your blood pressure if it is high.
Five surprising facts about high blood pressure:
High blood pressure may be linked to dementia
Evidence suggests that having uncontrolled high blood pressure during midlife (ages around 44 to 66) creates a higher risk for dementia later in life.
The takeaway? Timing matters. It’s never too early to start thinking about your blood pressure and taking steps to manage your high blood pressure.
Young people can have high blood pressure too
High blood pressure doesn’t just happen to older adults. Nearly 1 in 4 adults aged 20 to 44 have high blood pressure.
The alarming effect of High blood pressure is that it can lead to a stroke, a condition on the rise among young adults. Experts believe that the increased risk for a stroke in this age group is a direct result of treatable and preventable conditions like obesity, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.
The solution? Check your blood pressure often. You can get checked at a doctor’s office or pharmacy, by Signature’s nurses at your home, or you can check it at home on your own if you have a home blood pressure monitor.
High blood pressure usually doesn’t have any symptoms
High blood pressure is sometimes called the “silent killer.” Most people with high blood pressure don’t have any symptoms. Because many people feel fine, they don’t think they need to get their blood pressure checked.
The solution? Talk to your doctor about your risk for high blood pressure. Because even if you feel normal, your health may be at risk.
Many people who have high blood pressure don’t know it
About 1 in 3 U.S. adults with high blood pressure aren’t even aware they have it. Consequently, they are not being treated to control their blood pressure, increasing the risks of more severe effects and outcomes.
Women and African Americans face unique risks with high blood pressure
Women with high blood pressure who become pregnant are more likely to have complications during pregnancy than women with normal blood pressure.
High blood pressure during pregnancy can harm a mother’s kidneys and other organs, and it can lead to premature delivery and low birth weight babies.
Some types of birth control can also raise a woman’s risk for high blood pressure.
Our recommendation: If you are a woman with high blood pressure and want to become pregnant, you should work with your health care team to lower your blood pressure before becoming pregnant.
Risks for African Americans
Statistics show that African American men and women have higher rates of high blood pressure than any other racial or ethnic group.
These individuals are also more likely to be hospitalized for high blood pressure.
Experts think these health disparities are related to higher rates of obesity and diabetes.
Tips and recommendations for everyone
Living a healthy lifestyle can help you keep your blood pressure in a healthy range and lower your risk for heart disease and stroke. A healthy lifestyle includes:
Eating a healthy diet
Maintaining a healthy weight
Getting enough physical activity
Limiting alcohol use
A diet reduced in sodium
Taking your medications (especially blood pressure medication)