Blood Pressure

Topics: Hypertension, Myocardial infarction, Artery Pages: 2 (458 words) Published: February 23, 2014
The leading causes of death in the U.S. are heart disease and stroke. The primary or contributing indicator of these ailments is high blood pressure. Blood pressure is the force of blood against your artery walls as it circulates through your body. When you have high blood pressure it can harden your arteries, which decreases the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart. This in turn causes chest pain, heart failure, heart attacks, and strokes. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 67 million U.S. adults have high blood pressure which figures out to be 1 in every 3 adults. Out of that 67 million: 69% of people have had their first heart attack, 77% a stroke, and 74% chronic heart failure. Having your blood pressure checked or monitoring it yourself can ultimately save your life. Also, knowing other preventative measures will help reduce your risk of even getting high blood pressure. In most cases, the cause of high blood pressure is unknown. However, there are several factors that can increase your chances of developing high blood pressure: genetics (hereditary), advanced age, gender, lack of physical exercise, poor diet, obesity, overabundance of alcohol, stress, smoking, and sleep apnea. Even knowing these risks many people still don’t know they have high blood pressure. The CDC estimates 1 in 5 adults don’t know they have high blood pressure. All too often there are no symptoms. When high blood pressure goes untreated, it damages arteries and vital organs. This is why high blood pressure has been nicknamed the silent killer. Having your blood pressure checked is easy and effortless. The CDC explains how your blood pressure is checked best, “A health professional wraps an inflatable cuff with a pressure gauge around your arm to squeeze the blood vessels. Then he or she listens to your pulse with a stethoscope while releasing air from the cuff and watching the gauge. The gauge measures blood pressure in millimeters of mercury. Blood...

References: American Heart Association: High Blood Pressure
http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/High-Blood-Pressure
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention
http://www.cdc.gov
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