Hypertension is often called the “silent killer” because it usually has no symptoms. This means that you may not know you have it until you have a serious health problem.
Anyone can develop hypertension, but it is more common in people who are older, overweight or obese, have a family history of hypertension, or have certain medical conditions such as diabetes or chronic kidney disease.
Although, hypertension in children is less common than in adults, but it is on the rise. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) estimates that about 3% of children and adolescents in the United States have hypertension. The AAP recommends that all children have their blood pressure checked at least once a year, starting at age 3.
The good news is that hypertension is preventable and treatable. If you have hypertension, your doctor can help you manage it with lifestyle changes and medication.
Here are some things you can do to help prevent hypertension:
- Eat a healthy diet that is low in sodium and saturated fat.
- Get regular exercise.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Don’t smoke.
- Limit alcohol consumption.
- Manage stress.
If you have hypertension, it is important to take your medication as prescribed by your doctor and to follow your doctor’s instructions for managing your condition.
By taking steps to prevent and control hypertension, you can reduce your risk of developing serious health problems.
Here are some additional information about hypertension:
- Hypertension is the most common chronic disease in the United States, affecting about one in three adults.
- Hypertension is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, heart failure, kidney disease, and blindness.
- Hypertension can be prevented and controlled with lifestyle changes and medication.
- If you have hypertension, it is important to see your doctor regularly to monitor your blood pressure and to make sure that your treatment is working.
With early diagnosis and treatment, hypertension in young and old can be controlled and the risk of serious health problems can be reduced.