National High Blood Pressure Education Month is a time for reflection and action. This month marks the 45th year for National High Blood Pressure Education Month. High blood pressure happens when blood flows through arteries at higher than normal pressures. And it’s very common. According to the American Heart Association, about 85 million Americans have high blood pressure. Nearly 20% of people don’t even know they have it. High blood pressure is sometimes called the “silent killer”. Most people with high blood pressure don’t have any symptoms, such as sweating or headaches. Because many people feel fine, they don’t think they need to get their blood pressure checked.
According to the CDC (2016), uncontrolled high blood pressure raises the risk of heart disease and stroke, which are leading causes of death in the United States. Fortunately, high blood pressure is treatable and preventable. To lower your risk, get your blood pressure checked regularly and take action to control your blood pressure if it is too high.
Recent studies show that high blood pressure is linked to a higher risk for dementia, a loss of cognitive function. Women with high blood pressure who become pregnant are more likely to have complications during pregnancy than those with normal blood pressure. High blood pressure can harm a mother’s kidneys and other organs, and it can cause low birth weight and early delivery.
The more you know:
- High blood pressure increases the risk of dangerous health conditions.
- Heart attack: About 7 of every 10 people having their first heart attack have high blood pressure.
- Stroke: About 8 of every 10 people having their first stroke have high blood pressure.
- Chronic (long-lasting) heart failure: About 7 of every 10 people with chronic heart failure have high blood pressure.
- Kidney disease: A major risk factor for high blood pressure.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2016). 5 Surprising Facts about High Blood Pressure. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/features/highbloodpressure/index.html
Peña, Cindy (2017). May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month. Retrieved from