Published on January 12, 2021

High Blood Pressure

blood pressure cuff art

Hypertension, more commonly known as high blood pressure, affects nearly 30% of adults in the United States.

It is the leading cause of heart attacks and strokes in the United States. In Mississippi the number of people with high blood pressure is even higher. About 40% of adults in Mississippi have high blood pressure. Older adults are even more likely to have high blood pressure. Around 60% of adults over age 60 have high blood pressure in this country.

High blood pressure is the leading cause of heart attacks and strokes in the United States.

More people will die of high blood pressure related cardiovascular disease than the next three top deadliest illnesses combined. It is one of the major modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular disease. High blood pressure is also the second leading cause of kidney failure in this country, trailing only diabetes. High blood pressure damages the small filtering units of the kidneys and the blood vessels that supply the kidney. Over time, this results in progressive kidney dysfunction and failure. This will ultimately lead to complete kidney failure, which requires treatment. Those unfortunate people who reach end stage kidney disease require dialysis treatments or a kidney transplant to sustain their lives.

Most people, especially young adults, don’t even know they have high blood pressure. This is how high blood pressure earned its nickname, “the silent killer.” There is generally no pain or other symptoms associated with high blood pressure. To know that you have it, you must be screened.

Have your blood pressure tested at least yearly. If abnormal, your health care provider will decide what your blood pressure should be based on your age and medical history. Screening and treatment will lower your risk of heart disease, stroke and kidney failure related to high blood pressure.

The good thing is that hypertension is treatable. Numerous medications are available to lower your blood pressure. Contact your health care provider if you think you may have high blood pressure. If left untreated high blood pressure can lead to heart attack, stroke or kidney failure. Get checked. There is no reason to allow this disease to go untreated.