Question: What are the key things to know about blood pressure screenings for men?
Answer: I think that high blood pressure, or hypertension, is a rising epidemic in the United States. Studies show that 60 million Americans are diagnosed with a high blood pressure and that number only is rising. It's defined as a blood pressure above 140 -- which is the systolic number -- over 90 -- which is the diastolic number. And any number above that puts you at risk for heart attack, stroke and kidney disease, among others. We start screening for blood pressure that's elevated above the age of 18 and it should be done every other year.
And it should be noted that just because you have high blood pressure doesn't necessarily mean you need to start off on medications. There are a variety of lifestyle and dietary changes that you can make such as reducing the amount of salt in your diet, reducing alcohol intake, increasing exercise, and weight loss -- and failing those, then you can consider medications.