Hypertension: Just the FAQs
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is the most common chronic medical condition in adults ages sixty-five and older. In fact, just over half of older adults — 58 percent — are currently being treated for hypertension in the US. Many more have undiagnosed hypertension.
What Is Hypertension?
In hypertension, bloods flows through the blood vessels too quickly and forcefully. This increases the amount of work your heart needs to do, and damages the tissue inside the arteries.
What Causes Hypertension?
The risk factors for hypertension include some which cannot be controlled, such as a family history of the condition, increasing age, and being male. However, some risk factors, can be controlled. These include:
- Smoking, including exposure to secondhand smoke
- High cholesterol
- Physical inactivity
The following conditions are also associated with an increased risk of hypertension:
- Kidney Disease
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea
How Can I Know If I Have Hypertension?
Hypertension is known as a “silent killer” precisely because it is difficult to know if one has it. Since you cannot feel the rush of blood through your veins, the only way to know if you have high blood pressure is to have it checked — regularly.
Is Hypertension Dangerous?
Yes, very. Hypertension damages your arteries, your heart, your brain, your kidneys, and even your eyes. Approximately half of people with untreated hypertension will die of heart disease. Another third will die of stroke.
How is Hypertension Treated?
Treatment of hypertension includes addressing the controllable risk factors noted above. Reducing sodium intake is also important for hypertension control. Depending on the severity of your hypertension and whether you have any other health conditions, your healthcare provider might also recommend medications to keep your hypertension under control.
You may need to see your healthcare provider every month until your blood pressure comes under control.
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For over 25 years, we have been a staple of health and wellness, serving the members of our community and partnering with our local hospitals like Bayshore Community Hospital in Holmdel, NJ and Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, NJ.
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