Blood Pressure: 5 Things Most People Don't Know


How’s your blood pressure?

There’s a reason health professionals check your blood pressure at every doctor’s visit. Even some dentists check a patient’s blood pressure.

If your blood pressure is 120/80 or higher, you could have elevated or high blood pressure. It’s a risk factor for heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes.

Here’s the thing. Most people don’t know if they have high blood pressure. Want to keep your heart healthy?

Check out these five surprising facts about blood pressure.

1. High blood pressure increases the risk for dementia

  • In a study published in the journal Circulation Research, researchers found that high blood pressure for middle-aged adults increases the risk for dementia later in life.

2. High blood pressure isn’t just an old-person problem

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  • In a study funded by the American Heart Association, researchers found that an estimated 1 in 4 adults aged 20 to 44 already have high blood pressure.
  • Researchers believe it’s one reason obesity and type 2 diabetes are also on the rise among younger adults.

3. High blood pressure is sometimes called the ‘silent killer’

  • High blood pressure typically has no symptoms. You feel fine.
  • But left unchecked, it can silently damage your heart and body…for years. And you don’t even know it’s happening.

4. People with high blood pressure often don’t know it

  • About half of all adults in the U.S. have high blood pressure (116 million people).
  • Medication and healthy lifestyle habits can help lower blood pressure.
  • But here’s the problem. About 1 in 3 adults don’t know they have high blood pressure
  • Getting your blood pressure checked at every doctor’s visit makes sense now, right?

5. Blood pressure is a bigger issue for women & African Americans

  • Why? Women with high blood pressure who become pregnant are at greater risk for complications. This can include kidney and organ damage, premature delivery, and low-birthweight babies.
  • African Americans are more likely to have high blood pressure than any other racial group. They’re also more likely to be hospitalized for high blood pressure than others.

Healthy ways to manage blood pressure

If you’re trying to lower your blood pressure, or keep your blood pressure in check, there’s a few simple things you can do…

  • Maintain a healthy weight, or lose weight if you need to.
  • Be more active. Aim to exercise 20 to 30 minutes a day.
  • Eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and other healthy foods.
  • Get your blood pressure checked regularly. If it’s elevated or high, talk to your doctor about lifestyle changes and medications to help control blood pressure.

Hungry for more help to keep your blood pressure in check? Take a look at the Low-Sodium menu of meals made from fresh ingredients and ready to eat in minutes to keep your heart healthy.