The Silent Killer

Monday, October 4, 2010 - 8:52am

Many people don't realize they've got high blood pressure until it's too late.

High blood pressure is often referred to as "the silent killer".

It's a leading cause of stroke, heart attack and kidney failure.

Still, most people who suffer from high blood pressure don't even know it.

A blood pressure reading appears as two numbers.

The first number, which is the higher number, the the systolic pressure, the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats and fills them with blood.

The second number, or diastolic pressure, is the pressure in the arteries when the heart rests between beats.

A pressure of less than 120 over less than 80 is considered normal.

"If we get blood pressure under control early we can reduce or even stop all the complications that come with long term untreated high blood pressure," says Dr Eric Green. "Once people know that they have elevated blood pressure or hypertension they can get in to see their doctor and get it under control."

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