Heart disease is one of the biggest causes of preventable death in the United States. High blood pressure is one major heart disease risk factor. High blood pressure, also called hypertension, happens when the arteries in your body narrow or harden, making it harder for blood to travel to your heart and other body tissues. If you have high blood pressure, you are more at risk for heart attack, stroke, heart failure, kidney failure, or early death from such causes. Since the year 2000, the number of people with high blood pressure in the United States has risen by nearly one-fourth. For those aged 45 to 64, men had a nearly six-tenths increase in high blood pressure, while over one-third more women were diagnosed with high blood pressure between 2000 and 2013.
Health experts believe that high blood pressure can be lowered with proper lifestyle changes, adequate medical care, medicines, and workplace wellness programs. Those who have high blood pressure (or who are at risk for it) should be sure to visit their healthcare provider on a regular basis, stay active, manage stress, and eat a heart healthy meal plan with plenty of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats. These changes can help you better manage your blood pressure, and might even save your life.