Are You Aware that 39 Percent of 35.8 Million People With Elevated B/P Remain Uninformed about their Condition?
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported in September 2012 over 50 percent of adults with elevated blood pressure fail to receive adequate treatment. What portents an even more subtle problem happens to be the fact that 39 percent of the 35.8 million people with increased blood pressure remain unaware of their condition. Knowledge of a symptomless condition like elevated blood pressure helps a person play a part in their treatment and enriches their health in the process. My own blood pressure defies the usual silent feature of no symptoms by producing unrelenting headaches, but most people lack an observable feature and produce no trace or evidence of elevated blood pressure unless measurements are taken.
What is high blood pressure?
Blood pressure (B/P) readings measure the force of the heart pumping blood in our arteries. It consists of two numbers of the systolic or top number and the diastolic or bottom number. According to PubMed Health, the systolic and diastolic numbers indicate healthy and unhealthy states.
*Normal readings fall below 120/80 mmHg (120=systolic number; 80=diastolic number).
*High B/P (hypertension) occurs with systolic and diastolic above 140/90 mmHg.
*B/P readings between 120/80 to 140/90 mmHg refer to a pre-hypertension state.
Why be concerned about high blood pressure?
When B/P remains above 140/90 mmHg, the heart works harder to move the blood through the vessels in the body. The American Heart Association indicates that excess pressure on the artery walls leads to heart attacks, heart failure, strokes, aneurysms (weaknesses in the artery wall), kidney disease and disease of the arteries in the extremities. My childhood boyfriend became one of the statistics with the complication of a stroke with right side paralysis at 50 years of age. Consequently, untreated high B/P also shortens life expectancy and quality of life. Knowing your systolic and diastolic numbers gives you the ability to enhance your health and enjoy life.
Taking charge of your blood pressure.
A normal B/P reading means a satisfactory bill of health for you, but a check of your B/P needs to occur at least annually. According to Mayo Clinic, any B/P reading above the normal standard of 120/80 mmHg requires a discussion with your primary care provider. The provider discusses with you a target B/P reading and the options for lowering B/P. The target B/P goal can be higher or lower than the 120/80 mmHg depending on age and presence of other health conditions. Individuals over 80 years may require a goal higher than 140/90 mmHg and a person with chronic kidney disease frequently requires a target of less than 130/80 mmHg. Learn to know your numbers and prevent complications to your health that cripple your chances for an event free retirement. Looking forward to a healthy retirement, my health goals encompass daily blood pressure medication, exercise, and periodic visits to the doctor’s office.
The Effect of a Healthy Lifestyle on Blood Pressure.
According to Science Daily, Professor Pekka Jousilahti of Finland presented results of a longitudinal study on healthy lifestyles and hypertension at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in August 2012. Four lifestyle behaviors predicted development of high B/P. The modifiable factors included alcohol consumption, physical activity, consumption of vegetables and maintaining normal weight. The researcher indicated that even modifying one or two factors lowers blood pressure and the combination of B/P lowering medication can go hand in hand with life modifications. You have the ability to ensure a healthy lifestyle. Don’t become a statistic. Obtain measurements of your blood pressure. Know your numbers as you are the best person to control your healthcare.