Article courtesy of Measure Up/Pressure Down®
Nearly one in three adults in the United States has high blood pressure (also called hypertension), and many may go for years without knowing they have the disease because often it has no signs or symptoms. It is crucial to know what high blood pressure is and how it affects your body so you can track your blood pressure, monitor for changes and maintain control.
At its simplest, blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood. If this pressure rises and stays high, over time it can damage the body. That's why it is important to know your blood pressure and follow your health care professional's instructions if it is too high.
High blood pressure can be linked to your overall health in many ways, including:
- Lifelong conditions and problems that keep coming back, like diabetes, kidney disease and high cholesterol, can all increase your risk for high blood pressure.
- High blood pressure puts a strain on all your organs.
Take Care of Your Total Health
Since high blood pressure can lead to and worsen so many other diseases, Measure Up/Pressure Down has partnered with national organizations that take the lead in heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and more.
Visit the following websites to learn about the connection between high blood pressure and:
- Heart disease: American Heart Association and WomenHeart
- Kidney disease: American Kidney Fund
- Stroke: American Stroke Association
Extra Knowledge, Extra Care
Blood pressure control is especially important if you have diabetes or kidney disease. You may benefit from treatments tailored for your condition.
- People with diabetes and high blood pressure are at increased risk for kidney disease. Ask your health care provider how to stay ahead of this risk.
- American Kidney Fund's Kidney Health Tracker helps you track your blood pressure and other kidney-related tests, like urine protein and eGFR.
Measure Up/Pressure Down® is a three-year national campaign created by the American Medical Group Foundation to improve blood pressure control. Learn how to lower your risk and manage the disease with our Circulation Nation: Your Roadmap to Managing High Blood Pressure patient booklet.