The silent killer: High blood pressure | Mehmet ÖZ

Just like in crime novels, a silent killer may be lurking inside your body. 1 in 3 adults has high blood pressure, and many are unaware of it.


Untreated hypertension, or high/elevated blood pressure, may go undetected for a long time because most people with high blood pressure do not feel any symptoms. The truth is, 1 in 3 people have high blood pressure, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but live without knowing it. If not treated; Hypertension can significantly increase the risk of diseases such as heart attack, stroke, rupture of aneurysm, heart failure, kidney failure, leg atherosclerosis, dementia, various vision problems including blindness, and sexual dysfunction.

Values ​​above 130/80 are considered hypertension.

Your blood pressure consists of two values, the higher number systolic (systolic blood pressure) and the lower number diastolic (low blood pressure). Systolic pressure is the pressure in your arteries as your heart contracts. Diastolic pressure is the lower pressure that the heart creates in the arteries when it relaxes. As we get older, these two values ​​tend to increase as the hardening of large vessels increases. The scary thing is, studies show that even a mere 20mm Hg increase in systolic pressure or a mere 10mm Hg increase in diastolic pressure doubles a person’s risk of death from heart disease or stroke.



The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association revised their high blood pressure guidelines in 2017. According to the new limits, blood pressure below 120/80 mm Hg is normal. High or elevated blood pressure is considered to be 120-129/80 and hypertension as values ​​above 130/80. Also, if your diastolic blood pressure is above 80, it means you have hypertension.

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People with high blood pressure or hypertension may experience lifestyle changes such as dietary changes such as salt restriction, losing weight (losing 4.5-5 kg ​​can lower your blood pressure by 5 to 10 mm Hg), doing sports, quitting smoking, and limiting alcohol consumption to no more than 1-2 drinks per day. style changes.

Depending on your blood pressure and other cardiac risk factors (such as diabetes or a family history of heart disease), your doctor may also recommend medication for you. It has already been clearly proven that medical treatment can be extremely supportive in terms of both blood pressure and health outcomes.


You can catch the criminal

Going to a medical center or pharmacy to have your blood pressure measured, or buying a blood pressure monitor that will allow you to measure your own blood pressure at home? For those with white coat hypertension (people whose blood pressure values ​​are normal during their daily activities but rise when they see a doctor in a clinical setting, that is, white coat), measuring blood pressure at home is a much healthier option. You should write down the values ​​you measured at home and take the values ​​you recorded with you at your next doctor appointment.
The silent killer: High blood pressure
Although many people with hypertension inherit this risk from family members who also have hypertension, your doctor may identify other risk factors. For example, medications such as pain relievers, birth control pills, and antidepressants can also cause high blood pressure. In addition, conditions such as sleep apnea, which occurs when the airway is temporarily blocked at certain intervals during sleep, can also trigger high blood pressure.

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Being proactive and constantly monitoring your blood pressure and starting treatment if necessary can protect you from the so-called ‘silent killer’ hypertension, and not so silent diseases such as heart attacks and strokes.


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