By James McGuinness, M.D. |
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have designated next month as National High Blood Pressure Education Month. This is intended to raise awareness regarding the impact which high blood pressure can have on your overall health.
Hypertension increases the risk of serious health conditions such as cardiovascular disease and stroke. According to the CDC, heart disease was the most common form of death in the U.S. in 2015. Some other risk factors associated with high blood pressure include congestive heart failure, diabetes and kidney disease.High blood pressure can have a huge impact on a person’s life. During 2007 more than 46 million people in the U.S. visited a health care provider for this condition.
Overall, the incidence of high blood pressure is about the same in men and women. However, there are gender differences between age groups. In people under the age of 45, the incidence of high blood pressure is higher in men, while in the over-65 year age category it is higher in women. There are also race differences. High blood pressure is more common among African-Americans than Caucasians.
In the U.S. approximately 1 in 3 adults have high blood pressure, but children can also have high blood pressure. Elevated blood pressure often has no signs or symptoms. Many people with high blood pressure don’t even know they have it. It can develop slowly over time and can have many causes. Although it usually cannot be cured, it can be managed very effectively through lifestyle changes and, when needed, medication.