“The Silent Killer” Keep Ticking: New Blood Pressure Guidelines Released

Recently, the American Heart Association revised the guidelines on high blood pressure. This is no surprise when only about half of the 75 million Americans with high blood pressure have it under control. Occurring painlessly and often times without warning, many do not know they have the disease until further damage has been done. The new guidelines should raise awareness with more attention being given to screening and treatment of “The Silent Killer.”

What does blood pressure actually mean? Blood pressure, otherwise known as hypertension, is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries that carry blood throughout your body. Unhealthy behaviors including smoking, not getting enough physical activity, obesity, eating food high in sodium, and drinking too much alcohol can cause high blood pressure. Uncontrolled hypertension raises the risk of heart disease and stroke which are the leading causes of death in the United States.

What can you do to decrease your risk of hypertension? Loose those extra pounds, exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet rich in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, and low in saturated fat and cholesterol, limit the amount of alcohol you drink, and have regular wellness exams with your healthcare provider to screen for hypertension.

Use link provided to view new guidelines:

http://newsroom.heart.org/file?fid=5a09a9382cfac206544f5421

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