Guest blogger: Karen R.. Compliance, Quality and Clinical Program Specialist
High blood pressure (hypertension) is frequently referred to as the “silent killer.” It occurs when the blood within your blood vessels cannot travel freely, increasing pressure inside the vessel. High blood pressure can significantly increase your risks of developing other conditions, such as heart disease. Therefore, it is important to be diagnosed, obtain effective treatment and take the necessary steps to control your blood pressure to lower your risk of heart disease. You can increase your chances of effectively managing your hypertension by knowing the facts.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that adults 18 and older get their blood pressure checked1. Be sure your provider takes your blood pressure and lets you know how you are doing as part of your annual preventive care visit.
What are the Symptoms of High Blood Pressure?
The American Heart Association offers the following regarding recognizing the symptoms of high blood pressure2.
There is a reason it is often called the “silent killer.”
Most of the time, high blood pressure (HBP or hypertension) has no obvious symptoms to indicate that something is wrong. The best ways to protect yourself are being aware of the risks and making changes that matter. High blood pressure develops slowly over time and can be related to many causes. High blood pressure cannot be cured. However, it can be managed very effectively through lifestyle changes and, when needed, medication.
If you have high blood pressure, you are not alone.
About 85 million Americans — one out of every three adults over age 20 — have high blood pressure2. (Nearly 20 percent do not even know they have it). The best way to know if you have high blood pressure it is to have your blood pressure checked.
Know your numbers.
Learn about your blood pressure numbers and what they mean.
If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, it is important to visit your physician to have your blood pressure checked regularly. Your physician may recommend medications to treat your disease. In addition, you may also be advised to make certain lifestyle changes that can consist of:
- Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet
- Quitting smoking
Finally, please take a moment to consider how you can take advantage of the benefits that the Compass Rose Health Plan in conjunction with UMR can offer you in maintaining good health. UMR’s Care Management Program provides excellent resources and tools to help qualified members get the facts they need to manage their condition. By participating in and managing your condition through this program, you receive one free blood pressure cuff. Only adult members are eligible to participate. Contact UMR at (866) 575-2540 to get started!
1High Blood Pressure in Adults: Screening. (2015, October). Retrieved from U.S. Preventive Services Task Force: https://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Document/UpdateSummaryFinal/high-blood-pressure-in-adults-screening?ds=1&s=High%20Blood%20Pressure
2The Facts About High Blood Pressure. (2017, January 27). Retrieved from American Heart Association: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/GettheFactsAboutHighBloodPressure/The-Facts-About-High-Blood-Pressure_UCM_002050_Article.jsp