Blood pressure is the measure of the force your blood exerts against your arteries as it circulates through your body. This force is necessary to keep your blood circulating, but sometimes, that force is too high. High blood pressure increases the risk for heart disease and stroke. The CDC reports that high blood pressure was a primary or contributing cause of death for almost half a million people in the U.S. in 2018.
Educate yourself on high blood pressure with these four facts:
1. High blood pressure is a common problem but not well controlled.
The American Heart Association estimates that almost half of adults in the U.S. have high blood pressure. Unfortunately, the CDC estimates that only 24% of adults with high blood pressure have
the condition under control.
2. People of all ages can have high blood pressure.
However, the prevalence of high blood pressure increases with age. The CDC reports that 7.5% of U.S. adults aged 18 to 39 has high blood pressure, while the percentage rises to 33.2% for those between the ages of 40 and 59 and 63.1% among those who are 60 and over.
3. High blood pressure usually has no symptoms.
The only way you can tell if you have it is to get your blood pressure measured regularly. This can be done at a doctor’s appointment or at your local pharmacy.
4. High blood pressure is a treatable problem.
Lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, limiting alcohol and salt, maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly can help control blood pressure. When lifestyle changes aren’t enough, medication can get your blood pressure under control.