Wednesday, September 05, 2012

High Blood Pressure - Killing You Slowly

What You Don't Know May Kill You - High Blood Pressure

The majority of people with high blood pressure are being treated by a doctor, but their condition is still not under control, according to a new Vital Signs report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

One-third of American adults (67 million) have high blood pressure, and more than half (36 million) don’t have it under control, according to the report.

16 million take blood pressure medicine, but still don’t have their blood pressure under control. 22 million know they have high blood pressure but are not getting treated. And more don’t even know they have a blood pressure problem, the report says.

High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, heart disease the first leading cause of death, while stroke is the fourth leading cause of death, leading to nearly 1,000 deaths a day.

High blood pressure is defined as blood pressure greater than or equal to 140/90 mm- Hg.

(Video: Reducing Salt In Diet To Lower Blood Pressure)

The report says people with high blood pressure should be counseled to make important lifestyle changes that affect blood pressure, including eating a healthy, low sodium diet, exercising, maintaining a healthy weight and not smoking.

Why is blood pressure control so important to health?

When your blood pressure is high: You are 4 times more likely to die from a stroke. You are 3 times more likely to die from heart disease.

Even blood pressure that is slightly high can put you at greater risk.

What You Can Do

-Take prescribed medicines each day and follow the directions on the bottle. If your blood pressure is still not under control or if you have side effects, talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about possibly changing your medicine.

-Work to maintain a healthy weight and meet the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. ( guidelines/)

-Follow a heart healthy eating plan with foods lower in sodium.

-Get help to stop smoking. If you don’t smoke, don’t start.

-Measure and write down your blood pressure readings between doctor’s visits. This can be done at home, at a grocery store or at the pharmacy.

-Keep your doctor, nurse, pharmacist or other health care provider informed of your blood pressure readings that you take at home.

To learn more about blood pressure, visit For more information on heart disease and stroke, visit Controlling high blood pressure is also a key component of the Million Hearts initiative to prevent a million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.

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