Hypertension Facts and Myths


The hypertension facts are not to be taken lightly.

In the United States alone, it is estimated that one in three adults has the condition.

This translates to about 73.6 million people, age 20 and above. What is truly frightening, though, is that approximately 55 percent of people who had been diagnosed with hypertension did not have their condition under control.

While there are certain factors that can put a person at risk for developing hypertension, the condition itself rarely presents with any substantial signs or symptoms. Because of the stealthy nature of high blood pressure, it is often referred to as the “silent killer.” These hypertension facts and myths should shed some light on the condition and help with understanding.


Relevant hypertension facts and myths surrounding this condition:



Myth
: Stroke or heart attack are the only things you have to worry about with high blood pressure.

Fact: Heart attack and stroke are only two of the conditions that can develop as a result of high blood pressure. Heart failure and heart damage can occur as well as organ damage and failure as the organs are deprived of adequate blood and oxygen. Kidney failure is a common condition that results from uncontrolled hypertension.

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Myth
: If your blood pressure medication causes undesirable side effects, you just have to live with it.

Fact: Many medications have side effects (sexual dysfunction, nausea, fatigue), some of which are unpleasant. But different people react to medications in different ways. If one medication bothers you, talk to your doctor and get it changed.

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Myth
: As people get older, they develop hypertension. It happens to everyone.

Happy older coupleFact: High blood pressure is not a part of getting old. Young people develop the condition as well as middle aged adults. It is the result of narrowed arteries and blood vessels that carry blood from the heart through the body. Because the vessels are narrow, it is more difficult for the blood to move through them. The heart must work harder and the pressure in the vessel increases, registering as high blood pressure.

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Myth
: A high systolic reading is not a cause for concern, but a high diastolic reading is critical.

Fact: Systolic as well as diastolic blood pressure readings are equally important. The age of the patient does play a part in how critical a certain reading is. For instance, in young people, a high diastolic reading is treated as critical, while in older people a high systolic reading is considered a priority.

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Myth
: A normal blood pressure reading is 120/80.

Fact: There was a time that 120/80 was considered to be a “normal” blood pressure reading. However, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has modified the definition so that a “normal” pressure reading is below 120/80.

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Myth: The diet, weight and fitness level have nothing to do with hypertension.

Fact: A healthy diet, healthy weight and regular exercise can dramatically reduce blood pressure, but also decreases a patient’s risk for heart attack, stroke, cancer, diabetes and other debilitating conditions.


It is important to know the hypertension facts. Maintaining a healthy diet that is low in sodium, getting regular exercise, getting enough rest, alleviating stress and seeing your doctor regularly will help lower your chances of developing the condition. High blood pressure can be harmful and it may not be easy to identify without a doctor’s aid, but there are steps you can do to protect yourself.












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