High blood pressure, also called hypertension, can have serious health consequences. Yet, according to Bruce Campbell, MD, Chair of Executive Health at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, it may be the single most neglected medical condition.
“It is estimated that a staggering 36 million adults in the United States have uncontrolled high blood pressure,” Dr. Campbell says. “And of these, 14 million are unaware of their hypertension.”
What is High Blood Pressure?
In people who have high blood pressure, the pressure of the blood inside their arteries and veins is higher than it should be. According to the American Heart Association, a blood pressure of 140/90 or higher is considered too high.
“If left undetected and untreated, high blood pressure significantly increases your risks for heart attack, stroke and kidney failure,” Dr. Campbell says.
Hypertension - Men's Health PITCH
How Can You Protect Yourself?
Your first step is to have your blood pressure checked, even if you don’t have any bothersome symptoms. According to Dr. Campbell, you can feel great but still have elevated blood pressure.
Medications can help control high blood pressure, but Dr. Campbell points out that many people who take medication still don’t have this condition under control. That makes it especially important to have your blood pressure checked.
Healthy lifestyle changes are also important. Your doctor may recommend you maintain a healthy weight, not smoke, eat a healthy diet and be physically active. These healthy habits can help you control high blood pressure and may prevent it from occurring in the first place.
“Don’t let this silent killer jeopardize your health,” Dr. Campbell says. “Get your blood pressure checked. If it’s elevated, make an appointment to see your doctor.
*The content on this website is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. Please consult a physician regarding your specific medical condition, diagnosis and/or treatment.