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Understanding and Controlling Blood Pressure
LEARN It! Challenge 2 of 6
What is hypertension?
Why do we test blood pressure?
Knowing your blood pressure is an important and easy step to take in monitoring your overall health.
According to the American Heart Association, high blood pressure is:
- ...the leading risk factor of women's deaths and the second in men's deaths in the United States
- ...one of the risk factors for heart disease, which kills more people worldwide than any other disease
- ...a condition that about one-third of adults in the United States currently have.
- ...a condition that 90% of adults in the United States will eventually develop.
- Hypertension is often referred to as "the silent killer": people with this condition might not feel like they have any symptoms, but they are still at risk for life-threatening diseases
- Hypertension is caused by the blood vessels becoming less elastic, so it becomes much more challenging for blood to move throughout the body
- Genetics and age play a role in the likelihood that someone has in developing hypertension, but lifestyle choices such as tobacco use, diet, activity level, and more can determine whether someone develops the condition
- High blood pressure is a serious condition, but can be controlled with consistent effort in lifestyle changes and medication compliance