What is High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure is commonly referred to as hypertension. High blood pressure occurs when there is a large buildup of plaque in your blood vessels which forces high amounts of pressure against your arteries. The higher the amount of blood your heart pumps, the narrower your arteries get; which leads to a heightening in your blood pressure. It is estimated that 18.1% of the population is living with undiagnosed hypertension. High blood pressure develops over a period of years and generally goes undetectable due to silent symptoms; however, it is easily detectable.
Who is at risk of developing high blood pressure?
Individuals who maintain unhealthy diets high in trans-fat, consume large amounts of sodium, do not participate in physical activity, and have an unhealthy living environment are most at risk for developing high blood pressure. Adults who fall between the ages of 40 to 65 years are also at risk. Minority populations experience a higher rate of blood pressure diagnosis. Minority populations most at risk include African Americans with 43% of men and 45.7% of women and Hispanics with 27.8% of men and 28.9% of females.
Lowering High Blood Pressure
The following activities are recommended to lower high blood pressure:
- Eating a healthier diet
- Begin exercising or get more exercise
- Follow your health care professional's instructions on taking your medications
- Creating a safe and healthy living environment