The Coastal Wave
The Coastal Wave is the monthly newsletter of Coastal Health & Wellness.
Uncontrolled high blood pressure leads to health risks
Coastal Health & Wellness recognizes May as National High Blood Pressure Education Month
What you don’t know about high blood pressure could hurt you. The health risk affects one in three Americans, yet many people with the condition don’t know they have it.
Coastal Health & Wellness (CHW) recognizes National High Blood Pressure Education Month this May, and sheds some light on risks associated with high blood pressure and lifestyle changes that combat the condition.
Heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death in the United States, and uncontrolled high blood pressure raises the risk for both. Fortunately, high blood pressure is preventable and treatable.
Recent studies show that high blood pressure is linked to a higher risk for dementia, a loss of cognitive function, and timing seems to matter. Some evidence suggests having uncontrolled high blood pressure during the ages 45-65 creates a higher risk for dementia later in life, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
But, that doesn’t mean high blood pressure just happens to older adults. Young people can suffer, too. In fact, about one in four men and nearly one in five women ages 35-44 has high blood pressure. Some experts believe the increased risk for stroke among young adults is directly tied to the rising rates of obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes.
About 11 million U.S. adults have high blood pressure, but they don’t know it because there are no symptoms, typically identified as sweating or headaches. That means they’re not receiving treatment to control their high blood pressure. Most people with uncontrolled blood pressure have health insurance and visit a health care provider at least twice a year, but the condition remains undiagnosed, hidden from the doctor and patient.
Even if you feel normal, your health may be at risk. Talk to your doctor about your risk for high blood pressure.
Women with high blood pressure who become pregnant are more likely to have complications during pregnancy than those with normal blood pressure. Women with high blood pressure who want to become pregnant should work with their health care team to lower their blood pressure before becoming pregnant, according to the CDC.
African American men and women have higher rates of high blood pressure than any other race or ethnic group. These individuals are also more likely to be hospitalized for high blood pressure. Experts think this is related to higher rates of obesity, diabetes and stroke among this group.
To lower risks, get blood pressure checks regularly and take action to control blood pressure when it gets too high. Lifestyle changes that can help combat the condition includes eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, getting enough physical activity, not smoking and limiting alcohol use.