Blood pressure is the pressure that circulating blood places on blood vessels within the body. This pressure is vital to the way in which the body functions. Within our bodies, blood flows from areas of higher pressure to areas of lower pressure. Blood carries nutrients such as proteins, iron, fats, sugar, etc., which all organs and muscles require to function. Without a difference in blood pressure, these nutrients would not reach every part of the body.
A ‘normal’ blood pressure is 120/80. The top number represents the systolic blood pressure, or the pressure within blood vessels when the heart is beating. The bottom number represents the diastolic blood pressure, or the pressure within blood vessels when the heart is at rest. Even though the 120/80 reading is considered ‘normal,’ many Americans have numbers that are consistently above this range. Today, 75 million Americans have high blood pressure, or 1 in 3. This is especially scary, as high blood pressure has been termed the ‘silent killer.’ This is due to the serious nature of conditions that can come with this condition despite the lack of warning signs. This becomes even more evident in the fact that 20% of people with high blood pressure do not know it.
High blood pressure can lead to a variety of serious conditions. Seven out of 10 people who suffer their first heart attack have high blood pressure. A stroke is another possible consequence of high blood pressure, with 8 out of 10 stroke patients suffering from it. It does not end there though, as 7 out of 10 people with chronic heart failure have high blood pressure. What can be deemed even more scary is the fact that only 54% of individuals with high blood pressure have it under control.
Luckily, blood pressure can often be controlled if people are in regular contact with medical providers. There are a multitude of medications that can lower blood pressure. Our corporate onsite clinic staffs, which include nurse practitioners, have the power to write prescriptions for this medication. They will work with you personally and with our staffed health coaches to develop a lifestyle to control blood pressure. The main thing is to be aware and have a plan, all of which our providers can help with.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2018, April 5). High Blood Pressure. Retrieved from www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/facts.htm.