Most of us know that high blood pressure, or hypertension, is harmful to our health. Yet, one third or about 76 million Americans still have hypertension and only half of those with hypertension are under good control. Good control is defined as <140/90 for those under 65 years of age, and <150/90 over 65 years.
Hypertension can lead to potentially fatal outcomes, sometimes without any symptoms initially. Here are a few:
Treatment for hypertension includes both lifestyle changes and medicine. Eating a diet lower in salt, high in fresh vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, low fat dairy, and low fat meats is imperative. Increasing physical activity and modest weight loss for overweight individuals are also important. Certain medicines are better for certain populations, and is something you and your provider will decide.
Annual screening is recommended for those over the age of 18. If you haven’t been screened for hypertension in the past year, set up an annual physical with your health care provider.