Reducing Your Blood Pressure
Know Your Numbers, and Make Control Your Goal
About one in three American adults has high blood pressure. The University of Maryland Medical Center is working with community partners to reduce this rate and to educate people in the Baltimore area on how to prevent or control high blood pressure.
Why is this so significant?
High blood pressure is called the “silent killer.” You usually don’t feel any differently when you have high blood pressure. It can cause damage to your heart, blood vessels, kidneys, and eyes, and you won’t even know it.
Take steps now to know your blood pressure numbers and get your blood pressure under control.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- High blood pressure contributes to 1,000 deaths a day in the U.S.
- People with high blood pressure are 4x more likely to die from a stroke, and 3x more likely to die from heart disease.
- 69% of people who have a first heart attack have high blood pressure
- 77% of people who have a first stroke have high blood pressure
- Only 47% of people with high blood pressure have it under control
- African-Americans develop high blood pressure more often, and at an earlier age, than others
Do you know where you stand?
If not, get your blood pressure checked, and do so regularly.
The good news is that you can take the following steps to lower and maintain a healthy blood pressure:
- Get your blood pressure checked regularly
- See a doctor if your blood pressure is high, and take any medicine like the doctor tells you
- Get regular exercise
- Eat a healthy diet and limit salt intake
- Don’t smoke, and stop smoking if you do
- Maintain a healthy weight
High Blood Pressure Resources
- Join the Maryland Healthy Men Project (a UMMC program in Baltimore that helps African-American men with high blood pressure take control of their pressure)
- UMMC’s Center for Preventive Cardiology
- UMMC’s Keep Your Blood Pressure in Check Cookbook
- Kick the Habit smoking cessation program
- Smoking Cessation Guide
- American Heart Association
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention