One in three adults in the United States has high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, and less than half of those diagnosed with the condition have it under control, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In a recent Be Well Q&A, Sandra Tsai, MD, a clinical assistant professor of medicine and cardiovascular medicine at Stanford Hospital and Clinics, discusses why it's crucial to get regular blood pressure screenings. She says, "Hypertension is preventable and treatable; therefore, it is imperative that people know their blood pressure level." When asked what she would like to change about public awareness of hypertension, she said:
I want people to understand the importance of knowing their blood pressure readings and the definition of a normal reading. It is also important for people to know that hypertension often does not produce symptoms. Therefore, we all need to have our blood pressure checked regularly so that if hypertension is occurring, it will be detected early.
There are many things people can do to prevent or alleviate hypertension; thus, if diagnosed, such individuals should talk with their medical provider for help with behavior change and the possible need for anti-hypertensive medication.
Previously: Why it’s “vitally important” to monitor your blood pressure, Ask Stanford Med: Stanford interventional cardiologist taking questions on heart health and Stanford Hospital & Clinics introduces month-long heart health challenge