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This dangerous foe isn’t fiction. Many people face it, but fail to take action. Better known as high blood pressure, some of its nasty side effects can include:
A so-called symptomless disease, it really is a silent killer. There aren’t many warning signs that high blood pressure exists. Which makes it especially dangerous. If not treated, it can cause problems for life.
Fortunately, you’re not helpless against its dangers. Be proactive to help fend off its serious health effects.
Mystery Solved Many people have high blood pressure and don’t know it. A routine health exam will let you know if you do.
Your doctor will measure both your systolic blood pressure (pressure on the artery walls when the heart beats) and your diastolic pressure (pressure on the artery walls when the heart relaxes between beats). The American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines for healthy blood pressure is less than 120 systolic and 80 diastolic (120/80).
A person may be at risk for serious problems if their blood pressure reading is higher than 140/90. Your doctor will suggest treatment if your health exam shows you have high blood pressure.
There are a number of things that can raise your risk of high blood pressure, such as:
If you don’t have high blood pressure, there are a few simple steps you can take to help make sure you never will. These same steps can also help people who have been diagnosed with high blood pressure lower theirs.
Take steps now to keep your blood under control. Talk with your doctor about your risks for high blood pressure and heart disease.
Originally published 8/16/2016; Revised 2021, 2023
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, a Division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
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