Hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure, namely a blood pressure above 140 mmHg systolic (upper value) and/or above 90 mmHg diastolic (lower value). Untreated hypertension increases the strain on the heart and arteries, eventually causing organ damage. Hypertension increases the risk of heart failure, heart attack (myocardial infarction), kidney failure leading to dialysis, and stroke. Fortunately, treatments to lower blood pressure are usually easy to take and can help prevent health problems.
High Blood Pressure in the United States
- Having high blood pressure puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke, which are leading causes of death in the United States.1
- About 75 million American adults (32%) have high blood pressure—that’s 1 in every 3 adults.3
- About 1 in 3 American adults has prehypertension—blood pressure numbers that are higher than normal—but not yet in the high blood pressure range.3
- Only about half (54%) of people with high blood pressure have their condition under control.2
- High blood pressure was a primary or contributing cause of death for more than 410,000 Americans in 2014—that’s more than 1,100 deaths each day.1
- High blood pressure costs the nation $48.6 billion each year. This total includes the cost of health care services, medications to treat high blood pressure, and missed days of work.1
Rates of High Blood Pressure Vary by Geography
High blood pressure is more common in some areas of the United States than in others. Below is a map showing the self-reported rate of hypertension by state in 2011. However, this likely underreports the true effect of hypertension in each state. About 1 in 5 adults is unaware of having high blood pressure and would not report having it.2
Risk Factors for High Blood Pressure
Having certain medical conditions can increase your chances of developing high blood pressure. These conditions include
Unhealthy behaviors can also increase your risk for high blood pressure, especially for people who have one of the medical conditions listed above. Unhealthy behaviors include
- Smoking tobacco.
- Eating foods high in sodium and low in potassium.
- Not getting enough physical activity.
- Being obese.
- Drinking too much alcohol.
Making lifestyle changes is an important first step in the treatment of high blood pressure. DO drink the right amount of water. To get the maximum health benefits of drinking water, you need to drink eight to ten 8-ounce glasses of water per day. If you have hypertension and are looking to lower your blood pressure naturally, your ultimate goal should be twelve 8-ounce glasses or 96 ounces of water per day.
Chronic dehydration also can be a cause of high blood pressure by making the body to hold onto sodium. This increases blood volume and thus blood pressure. Make a point of drinking a minimum of eight and preferably 10 to 12 glasses of pure, filtered water every day.
Our REHC Hypertension Specialists will give you an eating plan plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other foods that are heart healthy and lower in salt/sodium. Call 954-463-0112
If you have prehypertension or diabetes, you can take steps to lower your risk for high blood pressure.
Control Blood Pressure
Measuring your blood pressure is an important step toward keeping a healthy blood pressure. Because high blood pressure and prehypertension often have no symptoms, checking your blood pressure is the only way to know for sure whether it is too high.
If you learn that you have prehypertension or high blood pressure, you should take steps to control your blood pressure to lower your risk for heart disease and stroke.
Most people with diabetes—about 6 out of 10—also have high blood pressure.1 If your health care provider thinks you have symptoms of diabetes, he or she may recommend that you get tested.
If you have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar levels carefully. Talk with your health care team about treatment options. Your doctor may recommend certain lifestyle changes to help keep your blood sugar under good control—those actions will help reduce your risk for high blood pressure.
Take Your Medicine
If you take medication to treat high blood pressure or diabetes, follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. Always ask questions if you do not understand something. Never stop taking your medication without talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
Talk with Your Health Care Team
You and your health care team can work together to prevent or treat the medical conditions that lead to high blood pressure. Discuss your treatment plan regularly, and bring a list of questions to your appointments.
Call REHC – Renal Electrolyte & Hypertension Consultants: 954-463-0112