Blood pressure is the amount of force exerted by blood against the walls of your arteries. Blood pressure rises and falls throughout the day and plays a vital role in overall health and wellness. According to experts at the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health, blood pressure is considered normal when it’s measured at less than 120 (higher number) and less than 80 diastolic (lower number). Anything more could spell prehypertension or hypertension.
Understanding the role blood pressure plays in your overall health is critical. Acting on high blood pressure is essential but, too often, high blood pressure appears with little warning and few symptoms.
Want to learn more about high blood pressure? Not sure what to believe about your risk factors? Check out these Top 5 Myths about High Blood Pressure and Hypertension. Unhealthy notions and misinformation that could put you and your family at risk.
Myth No. 1: High blood pressure is not a big problem in the United States. On the contrary, hypertension is a worldwide health problem that can lead to cardiovascular disease, disability and death. High blood pressure, heart attack and stroke causes millions of deaths, disabilities and serious health problems each and every year.
Myth No. 2: Men are the only ones who need to worry about high blood pressure. On the contrary, high blood pressure is an equal opportunity health condition, affecting men, women and children, young and old.
Myth No. 3: High blood pressure makes itself known to the individuals it strikes. On the contrary, high blood pressure is a silent disease and can strike without presenting any symptoms whatsoever. This is why everyone is encouraged to get regular check ups, watch their diet and make exercise a priority. A healthy lifestyle is the best defense against high blood pressure and hypertension.
Myth No. 4: High blood pressure can be cured with medication. On the contrary, high blood pressure is a lifelong health condition that may require lifestyle changes (diet and exercise) along with daily medication.
Myth No. 5: Salt is the main cause of high blood pressure. While table salt and sodium, found in soup, processed meats and frozen foods, can raise blood pressure, there are many other factors that increase the risk of high blood pressure, including family history, age, obesity and diet, certain diseases, among others.
The Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health
High Blood Pressure in Medicine Net
High Blood Pressure in Medline
Hypertension and High Blood Pressure in Web MD
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) in Women