During National High Blood Pressure Education Month in May, the National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute (NHBLI) is urging Americans to get their hypertension under control.
“High blood pressure affects about 50 million--or one in four--American adults,” states the NHBLI. “Of those with hypertension, about 68 percent are aware of their condition--but only 27 percent have it under control. The reasons for this include not taking drugs as prescribed and/or not taking a medication that sufficiently lowers blood pressure.”
High blood pressure is characterized by “the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood,” according to the NHBLI. The risks for coronary heart disease, heart failure, stroke, and kidney failure occur when that pressure rises and remains high.
In the United States, statistics show that 1 in 3 adults have high blood pressure, and typically do not have signs or symptoms. Although blood pressure does change—for example, when the body is at rest or asleep versus during times of excitement—the damage to the body’s organs occurs when the pressure is persistently high.
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