By Bharat Kumar, MD
With no real signs or symptoms, high blood pressure can sneak up on you. And it's more than just a couple of numbers - the higher your numbers, the higher your risk of dying.
So what is hypertension, and how can you steer clear of its dangers?
Experts, researchers and patients joined ABC News' chief health and medical editor Dr. Richard Besser to talk about high blood pressure in a Tweet chat Tuesday. The takeaway: You need to know your numbers, which means getting checked regularly. Even though you may not see or feel the effects hypertension, sooner or later, you may have to deal with it.
If you missed the chat, here are the highlights:
— American Heart Assoc (@American_Heart) May 20, 2014
#abcDrBchat T2: We're all at risk, in some way. Aside from race/family, weight gain, sodium intake, alcohol use, and even STRESS …
— Dr Alok Patel (@AlokPatelMD) May 20, 2014
A3: Let's chat numbers too. Normal BP is <120/80 mmHg. High BP is 140/90 or over. In between is prehypertension. #abcDrBchat
— MeasureUpPressureDwn (@MUPDcampaign) May 20, 2014
T4: Damage to your heart, kidneys, brain, arteries and eyes, as well as bone loss + trouble sleeping. #abcDrBchat
— Angela Haupt (@angelahaupt) May 20, 2014
T5 Reversible causes are tobacco, sedentary lifestyles, type A personalities and excessive alcohol and caffeine intake. #abcDrBchat
— BeaumontHealthSystem (@BeaumontHealth) May 20, 2014
T6 BP control improves when patients take action: take meds as prescribed, track own BP, eat healthy, do reg. physical activity. #abcDrBchat
— Dr. Tom Frieden (@DrFriedenCDC) May 20, 2014
T7: Pre-ecampsia is hypertension and protein in urine. Eclampsia is hypertension, proteinuria + seizure. These are in pregnancy#abcDrBchat
— Suneeta Ganji (@SuneetaGMD) May 20, 2014
— Esther Krych, M.D. (@DrEstherKrych) May 20, 2014
— Sheliza Lalani (@DrSLalani) May 20, 2014