Millions of Americans Have High Blood Pressure and Don't Know it

Millions of Americans Have High Blood Pressure and Don't Know it

Nearly half of adults in the United States —  47 percent (or 116 million people) have high blood pressure. What’s more, about 1 in 3 of them don’t even know they have it. And they may not until the condition because so severe it causes other problems, such as heart disease, stroke, kidney issues, and aneurysms.

Bharat Gandhi, MD, and the team at MediNet Family Care Clinic in Houston, Texas, are eager to help reverse those daunting statistics. Here he explains what you need to know to take control of your blood pressure and overall health. 

First, let’s start with a quick biology lesson.

What is high blood pressure?

High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is a condition in which your blood travels through your arteries at more intense force or pressure than normal or healthy. The longer your blood pressure remains elevated, the more damage it can cause to your blood vessels. 

Your blood pressure reading is comprised of two numbers. First is your systolic blood pressure (a measure of the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats) and diastolic blood pressure the pressure in your arteries when your heart rests between beats). 

For most adults, normal blood pressure is a systolic reading of less than 120 and a diastolic pressure of less than 80. Elevated blood pressure is a systolic pressure between 120 and 129 with a diastolic pressure of less than 80.

How can I know if I have high blood pressure?

Usually, high blood pressure doesn’t cause symptoms. That’s why so many people do not realize they have it. Having your blood pressure measured is the only way to tell whether it’s elevated. At Medinet Family Care Clinic, we take your blood pressure at your annual physical. If you are at increased risk for hypertension, Dr. Gandhi may recommend your blood pressure be monitored more often. Risk factors include:

How to reduce your risk

Hypertension is largely preventable and treatable. Here’s how you can reduce your chances of developing this condition.

Hypertension puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke and is a primary or contributing factor in a half million deaths annually. Don’t be a statistic. Take control of your health now and learn how to prevent and treat hypertension. Give our office a call to schedule a visit with Dr. Gandhi. 

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