In the United States about a third of everyone over the age of 20 has high blood pressure or Hypertension. Another number that is troublesome is that one out of every four adults or 50 million people in the USA alone suffer from hypertension as well. Known as the “Silent Killer,” many people who suffer from hypertension do not even know that they have the condition.
If left untreated hypertension can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke which happen to be the first andthird leading causes of death in the United States. Hypertension can also cause kidney damage and increase the risk of blindness and dementia in patients.
With the increase of Hypertension across the country, high blood pressure has been blamed on certain lifestyle factors such as:
– Physical inactivity
– Poor diet (salty, processed, and fatty foods)
– Alcohol and tobacco use
There are general risk factors that we have to account for that can contribute to high blood pressure in certain individuals
– Age – As we get older we are all at risk for high blood pressure. But individuals who are over the age of 60 are at high risk for hypertension
– Race – African Americans are more susceptible to hypertension verses white or Hispanic American Adults
– Size – Being overweight or obese is a major risk factor. The more weight around the midsection the higher the risk of hypertension
– Gender – Males and females have different risk factors. While the same issues can contribute to high blood pressure in both genders, men are more prone to suffer from hypertension at younger ages while women are effected in their older years.
– Lifestyles – How we live daily contributes to the increase in hypertension in the United States. As a whole we are eating saltier foods, drinking alcohol to the level of abuse, and are less active then we were some 25 years ago. All of these factors add to higher percentages in hypertension across the board.