48 percent of Americans 18 years of age or older (which is to say about 121.5 million of us) have some type of heart disease or disorder like hypertension. The even crazier part is many of those people don’t realize it until it becomes a serious problem.
Dr. Adrienne Youdim and our staff of experts focus on helping our patients be as healthy and happy as possible. This means educating you about the risks you face in terms of your own health.
Climbing high blood pressure rates
The American Heart Association stated around 103 million adults in the US have high blood pressure. This 2018 stat is much higher than the numbers in previous years — and, unfortunately, it's only rising.
If high blood pressure is such a serious problem, why is it that people hardly check for it? And why do they only discover what’s really going on when a serious problem occurs? Here are a few reasons why so many Americans have high blood pressure and don’t know it.
Reason #1: Increased life expectancy
The baby boomer generation is living longer than any other previous generation, and as a result, our population is skewing older. This generation is slowly moving into their golden years, but what they might not realize is that, with age, comes an added risk of high blood pressure. If you're currently over 55, it’s about time you start getting your blood pressure checked at least once a year to look out for signs of hypertension.
Reason #2: Change in guidelines
The guidelines for determining what is low, high, and normal blood pressure also changed very recently. In November of 2017, the numbers that signal hypertension were changed to a reading of 130 over 80 from a reading of 140 over 90.
Those changes might not seem like much, but if you received a reading even a couple of years ago that seemed fine or borderline, it’s possible you could be walking around with high blood pressure and not even know it.
Reason #3: Changes in habits
With the invention of the Internet and the many other changes we’ve seen just over the last few decades, people’s habits are changing. Americans aren’t exercising as frequently and their diets are worsening, both of which are enormous red flags when it comes to hypertension. Think about your lifestyle and ask yourself: Are you doing everything you can to prevent high blood pressure? If not, maybe it’s time to change.
What can I do to prevent high blood pressure?
Preventing high blood pressure is possible, but reversing it is not. This is why it's so important to stay informed, even if you’re nervous you might already have the disorder. If you know you don’t have hypertension yet, here are some things you can do to prevent it:
- Eat healthy
- Drink less alcohol and quit smoking
- Reduce sodium in the diet
- Exercise frequently
- Manage weight
- See your doctor frequently
Dr. Youdim is happy to work with you and determine any risk factors you may have for hypertension, as well as discuss ways to prevent it. If you are diagnosed with hypertension, she will offer treatment options including medications and lifestyle changes.
If you're one of the millions of Americans with hypertension, don’t worry too much. The problem can be managed as long as you take good care of yourself.
Make an appointment with Dr. Youdim today
Take control of your health now and learn how to prevent and treat hypertension. Call 310-461-3838 now to set up your appointment or book an appointment at your leisure through our website.