High blood is one of the leading contributors of stroke and heart disease worldwide, yet the signs are just not that obvious
What is obvious? Keeping routine doctor’s appointments with regular blood pressure screens (especially with a known family history of the condition)and avoiding high-risk lifestyle behaviors like smoking, binge drinking, and overeating can help prevent blood pressure levels from rising.
Myth: Those with hypertension always experience symptoms such as sweating, nervousness, feeling flushed, or have problems sleeping.
Truth: For good reason, hypertension has been talked about as the “silent killer.” Often, warning signs don’t exist until it triggers a serious cardiovascular episode, like a heart attack or stroke.
Are You At Risk?
Anyone can develop high blood pressure, but various risk factors can dramatically increase your risk for developing high blood pressure including:
Family History- raises the risk of developing high blood pressure. In addition, some have a high sensitivity to sodium and salt, which may increase their risk for high blood pressure and may run in families.
Race/Ethnicity- High blood pressure is more common in African American adults than in Caucasian or Hispanic American adults.
Age- As we age, blood pressure levels tend to rise. About 65 percent of Americans age 60 or older have high blood pressure. However, the risk for prehypertension and high blood pressure is increasing for children and teens, possibly due to the rise in the number of overweight children and teens.
Gender- Before age 55, men are more likely than women to develop high blood pressure. After age 55, women are more likely than men to develop high blood pressure.
Lifestyle Habits-Unhealthy lifestyle habits can raise your risk for high blood pressure, including:
- Drinking too much alcohol
- High fatty diet, eating too much sodium
- Not enough exercise
6 Warning Signs of High Blood Pressure
- Severe Headaches
- Blurred Vision
- Chest Pain/Shortness of Breath
If living with high blood pressure or have a known family history of the condition, your best protection is knowledge, management and prevention.
- Know your numbers- the best way to know if you have high blood pressure is to have your levels checked regularly during routine check-ups.
- Understand your risks and underlying symptoms- learn what factors are more likely to increase your chances of developing high blood pressure and determine your risk.
- Make healthier choices- take steps to reduce your risk and manage blood pressure. Make heart-healthy lifestyle choices, take your medication as prescribed and communicate openly with your doctor.
- Wear your medical ID 24/7