The word “hypertension” might not be in everyone’s vocabulary, but the phrase “high blood pressure” certainly is.
Hypertension describes a condition that accounts for more than 1,000 deaths in the United States each day, according to the Centers for Disease Control. With approximately one in every three adults walking around with high blood pressure in the U.S., it’s been estimated that only half of those with elevated blood pressure have that condition under control.
“The patients we see in the Heart Center are generally referred to us by their primary care provider,” said Thomas P. Smith, MD, a cardiologist at Bertrand Chaffee Hospital. “Our goal is to address cardiac and vascular conditions through medication, diet and exercise programs and other treatment options to improve overall health.”
“With cases of high blood pressure, there are not always obvious symptoms,” said Lauralee Sprague, NP. “By working with patients to control and monitor their high blood pressure, we are reducing their risks for heart disease, stroke and other complications that can result in a lower quality of life or of death.”
So, how high is too high? For most adults, normal blood pressure is less than 120 (systolic, or upper number) and less than 80 (diastolic, or lower number). Readings that show numbers above “120/80” may indicate hypertension. Certain conditions, such as pregnancy or medications, can cause elevated blood pressure readings. The best advice is to talk to your healthcare provider about your blood pressure and have your readings taken in a clinical setting.
BCH is planning a Heart Health Event on February 26 at 1 p.m. at the Concord Senior Center. Blood pressure screenings and heart and vascular health information will be available.
February is American Heart Month, and Bertrand Chaffee Hospital has provided this information to raise awareness about this widespread and serious health condition. Call (716) 592-9644 for information about services at the BCH Heart Center.