Have You Checked Your Blood Pressure Lately?
Advocacy High blood pressure is a leading cause of stroke, yet many people don’t have theirs under control. Find out more about this silent killer.
Do you know the signs of high blood pressure (HBP or hypertension)? That’s a trick question; HBP, also known as the “silent killer,” typically has no symptoms. That’s why it’s so important to check your blood pressure, make changes that matter and take steps to control your numbers.
By controlling your blood pressure, you are also dropping the mic on a huge health threat: the risk of stroke. Every 10 mmHg drop in systolic blood pressure (the top number in a reading) reduces stroke risk by an average of 41 percent.
Barely half of the 86 million Americans with high blood pressure have it under control. In addition, 16 percent of the people with high blood pressure are completely unaware that they have it.
High blood pressure is often the first domino in a chain leading to devastating consequences like heart attack, stroke, kidney disease and more. Unless we can stop the first domino from falling, the chain reaction is almost inevitable.
A simple blood pressure check is the first step to preventing this domino effect.
“Few severe health conditions are ignored as much as high blood pressure. It’s like having too much pressure in a pipe. It damages the pipe, but you often don’t see a problem until the pipe bursts or becomes clogged,” said Willie Lawrence, M.D., an interventional cardiologist for Midwest Heart and Vascular Specialists in Kansas City and an American Heart Association volunteer. “It is a symptomless disease, so the best way to combat it is to check it regularly to know if you need to start or change treatment.”
Find a Check. Change. Control. program near you and learn how self-monitoring and supportive mentoring can help prevent the domino effect of uncontrolled high blood pressure.