According to the American Heart Association, nearly half of all adults in the US have high blood pressure, while only 1 in 4 adults with hypertension have their condition under control. Checking your blood pressure regularly is crucial to combat high blood pressure, also known as the silent killer, due to the lack of visible symptoms. Since 1972 the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has sponsored National High Blood Pressure Education Month to bring awareness and understanding to the risk factors associated with high blood pressure. During May, people worldwide are encouraged to check their blood pressure. By controlling your blood pressure, you can reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, heart failure, and vision loss. However, just checking your blood pressure isn’t enough; you need to understand the numbers and what they mean to your health. The American Heart Association has created this chart as a guide to help inform on blood pressure categories.
You can take steps to aid in the prevention of high blood pressure, such as lowering sodium intake, eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and staying physically active. The damage from high blood pressure doesn’t happen overnight. Through education and healthy lifestyle choices, you can aid in preventing the many risks associated with high blood pressure. To learn more about understanding your blood pressure readings, click here