High Blood Pressure is a ‘Silent Killer’ That Should Never be Ignored

Sunday, November 24, 2019 | 9:06 pm

May is National High Blood Pressure Month, and it’s important to understand this health condition, and know how to protect yourself from what’s often been called a “Silent Killer!”

Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure typically has no signs or symptoms, making it that much more dangerous. Unless treated, however, the consequences to your health can be serious.

“Getting one’s blood pressure checked regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, eating heart-healthy, low sodium food, exercising regularly and limiting alcohol consumption are lifestyle changes that can aid in the prevention of hypertension that can cause stroke, heart disease and other cardiovascular-related health problems,” said Dr. Jennifer Nguyen, a cardiologist with Kaiser Permanente Southern California.

What is high blood pressure?
When a nurse takes your blood pressure, he/she measures the force of blood that’s being pushed against the walls of your blood vessels. If your blood pressure is high, this means the pressure of blood flowing in your arteries is higher than desired. This causes your heart to work harder, which could eventually result in heart failure, stroke or a heart attack.

Ideally, normal blood pressure should be below 120/80 mm Hg.

According to the American Heart Association, the following risk factors increase your probability of developing high blood pressure:

• Physical inactivity
• Smoking and being exposed to secondhand smoke
• Being obese or overweight
• High cholesterol
• A diet high in salt
• Drinking too much alcohol
• Diabetes

“If you have high blood pressure, whatever you do, don’t ignore it,” Dr. Nguyen cautioned. “Hypertension is a health condition that can result in serious repercussions to your health. However, once diagnosed, it can be treated. In addition, minor changes in one’s diet and lifestyle can reduce and/or eliminate hypertension.”

Kaiser Permanente offers nutrition tips that can help lower your blood pressure.

About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 12.3 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. https://about.kaiserpermanente.org/





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