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A dangerous enemy, indeed. Yet, this foe isn’t fictional. Many people encounter it in their lives and fail to take action. Better known as high blood pressure, some of its nasty side effects can include:
As a so-called symptomless disease – the silent killer, there really aren’t any telltale signs high blood pressure exists. Which makes it especially dangerous. If left untreated, it can cause problems for life.
Fortunately, you’re not helpless against its dangers. Taking some simple steps early can help keep its serious health effects at bay.
Mystery Solved Many people have high blood pressure and don’t know it. A routine health exam will let you know if you do.
Your physician will measure both your systolic blood pressure (pressure on the artery walls when the heart beats) and your diastolic pressure (pressure on the artery walls when the heart relaxes between beats). The machine that measures blood pressure uses the term mm/HG because it measures in millimeters of mercury. The American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines for healthy blood pressure is less than 120 systolic and 80 diastolic (120/80).
A person may be at risk for serious problems if their blood pressure reading is higher than 140/90. Your doctor will suggest treatment if your health exam shows you have high blood pressure.
There are a number of things that can raise your risk of high blood pressure, including:
If you don’t have high blood pressure, there are a few simple steps you can take to help ensure you never will. These same steps can also help individuals who have been diagnosed with high blood pressure lower theirs.
Take steps now to keep your blood under control. Talk with your doctor for more information about your risks for high blood pressure and coronary artery disease.
Originally published 8/16/2016; Revised 2021
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