Understanding high blood pressure should be of great importance in the United States, with over 30% of adults diagnosed with it. Despite the research and funding going into raising awareness for high blood pressure, it is still too often disregarded or taken lightly.
Understanding High Blood Pressure
Raymond Townsend, professor of the Hypertension Program at the University of Pennsylvania, was recently honored by the American Heart Association for his work with bringing awareness to Pennsylvania regarding high blood pressure.
Townsend has spent his entire career working on understanding high blood pressure and finding answers to help those around the world solve this problem. However, some people feel that it’s not as big of an issue as it truly is.
In one statement, Townsend said, “Many people think we conquered blood pressure years ago, but we have a growing number of people who are dealing with it. It’s the leading risk factor for death — more than tobacco, and more than unsafe sex.”
When thinking of high blood pressure and tobacco, the general public will react more negatively to tobacco, since it is more widely known as being a cancer-inducing killer. However, 1 in 4 people dies each year from heart disease, which can be caused by high blood pressure.
To be clearer on the topic, Townsend put it in an easier way to understand:
“The thing that best predicts death is an older age — nothing beats it as a predictor of mortality,” he stated. “Elevated blood pressure ages your circulation quicker, particularly when unrecognized or untreated. It makes you older faster. It wears the pipes out.”
For example, someone with uncontrolled blood pressure may be 50 years old, but internally, their blood vessels are closer to that of a 70-year old’s. As you age, your blood vessels constrict a bit more, which is the reason why getting older raises the risk of high blood pressure.
Understanding high blood pressure and how it affects your whole body can truly save your life and the lives of others. Being more contentious of your sodium and cholesterol intake can be enough to keep blood pressure under control.
Additionally, know what the numbers associated with high blood pressure means can help you to understand yours better. If the numbers mean nothing to you, what good does it do to check them regularly?
The numbers below are what you need to know in order to better help yourself stay clear of getting into dangerous ranges. Your doctor can help you achieve this as well, but keeping track of your blood pressure on your own can also be beneficial to your health.
If you have high blood pressure or a family history of it, get your it checked at a local pharmacy or with your doctor. High blood pressure tends to not have symptoms, making it even more dangerous. Understanding high blood pressure early on can prevent health problems down the road.