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Living Well Series: Hypertension

Dr. Michael Smith discusses hypertension. Nearly one-third of all American adults have high blood pressure. High blood pressure is when your blood pressure is higher than normal for an extended period of time. Most people with high blood pressure do not know they have the condition until it is discovered by a doctor. The prevalence of high blood pressure increases with age, with 65% of men and 75% of women having high blood pressure after the age of 64. People over the age of 55 with normal blood pressure have a 90% risk of developing hypertension in their lifetime. When you have high blood pressure, your heart is working harder than normal to pump blood through your body. This is something you can't feel. In fact, high blood pressure is commonly called a "silent killer" because it usually has no noticeable symptoms. Despite the lack of symptoms, untreated high blood pressure can lead to a greater risk for stroke or heart attack. That is why frequent blood pressure monitoring is vital.