Hypertension is often called a “silent” killer because many people with high blood pressure have no symptoms and do not even know they have it. Even without symptoms, high blood pressure increases a person’s risk of heart attack, stroke, peripheral vascular disease (blockage of the vessels that carry blood from the heart to the legs), eye disease and kidney disease.
Hypertension is among the most common risk factors for heart disease. An estimated 80% of cardiovascular disease is preventable; one person dies of heart disease every 36 seconds in the United States, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). Heart disease is also the leading cause of death in Dallas County, in Texas and nationwide.
If you have hypertension, learning to monitor your blood pressure at home is essential. While there is no cure, managing high blood pressure can allow you to live a longer and healthier life.
Parkland recommends the following tips to lower your blood pressure and the risk of heart attack or stroke:
- Eat a healthier diet with less salt
- Exercise regularly
- Quit smoking
- Manage stress
- Limit alcohol
- Maintain a healthy weight or lose weight if you are overweight
- Monitor your blood pressure at home
For more information on hypertension, visit www.parklandhealth.org/hypertension.