The problem with high blood pressure is that it can cause so many things to fail. Your kidneys, your eyesight, the blood supply to your brain. Yes, your heart can fail, too, from coronary artery disease, an enlarged left ventricle and, ultimately, from just wearing out, if high blood pressure goes unchecked. With so much at stake, it’s no wonder high blood pressure gets its own month for awareness.
Not only is the cost of high blood pressure high, but, unfortunately, it is extremely widespread, too. The CDC estimates that fully one-third of Americans suffer from hypertension – high blood pressure’s dress-up name. And among older Americans it’s even worse. It is estimated that 70% of Americans aged 65 and older suffer from high blood pressure, and at least a fourth of them are not taking blood pressure medicine as directed. if there’s any good news about this at all, it might be that since high blood pressure causes so many serious ailments, taking care of it can relieve or even prevent an awful lot of things for an awful lot of people.
A Killer Undetected
The reasons for highlighting the whole month of May to raise awareness of high blood pressure take on added perspective when we consider that it usually comes with no symptoms. In fact, it is estimated that 11 million Americans are not even aware that they have high blood pressure. Even with its known connections to a variety of life-threatening conditions and life-shortening events, only about half of adults with hypertension have it under control.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention published Five Surprising Facts About High Blood Pressure. As you might imagine, the surprises are not good news, including the link between high blood pressure and dementia, and the fact that women and minorities have higher risks connected with it.
Even the Young in Danger
With childhood obesity becoming more and more common, the necessity of monitoring blood pressure as well as weight among young people is now widely recognized. Hypertension among children and adolescents is considered a growing problem, and secondary hypertension – that is, high blood pressure caused by another medical condition – is even more common in children than in adults.
Experience and Information for You
May marks the 47th year of the National High Blood Pressure Education Program. In addition to developing and communicating useful information, the program works through a host of partner organizations to increase awareness, to prevention easier to understand, and to make treatment easier to follow.
The help of a family physician appears to be a wise choice for monitoring, preventing and treating high blood pressure, since no one is excluded from the risks of it. Let us help you get the awareness and take the action you may need. Call us at 843-815-6468.