ORLANDO, Fla. – About 116 million Americans are living with high blood pressure. New studies show that one in eight people don’t even know they have it.
Keeping blood pressure under control is important for reducing your risk from everything from heart failure to dementia.
While nearly half of adults in the US have high blood pressure, there’s a lot that people don’t know about this common condition.
“We call it a silent killer because people don’t pay much attention to it until you have what we call end organ damage,” Baptist Health’s Siddarth Wayangankar, MD said.
Most people with high blood pressure don’t have symptoms unless their blood pressure is very high. That’s why doctors say knowing your numbers is important.
“You need to know that number at the top of your brain, at the tip of your tongue. What’s that number?” Ricardo Hanel, MD, PhD, and neurosurgeon from Baptist Health said.
A normal blood pressure reading is less than 120 over 80 and elevated blood pressure is between 120 and 129 over less than 80. Above that is considered high blood pressure.
Experts say it’s important to add a blood pressure monitor to your home first aid kit. They can be found on Amazon for less than $40.
“We tell the patients that they need to get as many readings as possible because that gives us a better understanding of the true blood pressure,” Venkata Sagi, MD and cardiac electrophysiologist at Baptist Health said.
A recent oxford study found that one in eight adults had blood pressure spikes at night that were missed by daytime readings.
Experts suggest taking your blood pressure at night.