Your blood pressure is measured as part of routine doctor office visits, but do you actually know what your blood pressure reading means? You’ve know high blood pressure is a bad thing, but why? Understanding what having high blood pressure means could help encourage you to live a healthier lifestyle and lower your risk for high blood pressure.
The Risks of High Blood Pressure
According to 2017 studies, it’s estimated about 50% of American adults have high blood pressure. This is a huge increase from 2003, when roughly 30 percent of American adults had high blood pressure. The following are some of the potential dangers of high blood pressure:
- According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), around 30% of American adults had stage 1 high blood pressure in 2017.
- High blood pressure is one of the biggest risk factors for stroke, heart disease, kidney disease, and congestive heart failure.
- In 2013, high blood pressure was named one of the primary or contributing causes of death for over 360,000 Americans.
- One in every 6 American adults has high total cholesterol, which is linked to high blood pressure.
- The health risks caused by high blood pressure costs the U.S. an estimated $46 billion a year in healthcare services, medication costs, and missed days of work.
Preventing High Blood Pressure
You can make a number of lifestyle changes to help prevent high blood pressure. This includes:
- Drinking alcohol in moderation
- Eating healthy
- Engaging in routine exercise
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Managing stress
- Quitting smoking
Anyone can be at risk for high blood pressure, but improving your overall wellness can help prevent it. Healthy lifestyle changes can also help prevent other potential health complications that are linked to high blood pressure.