We recognize High Blood Pressure Awareness Month in May, so we asked Dr. Jims D. Jean-Jacques, a cardiologist at St. Joe’s, to answer the question: “Why is it important to know your blood pressure numbers?”
Many individuals simply don’t know they have high blood pressure. The best way to know if you have high blood pressure or not it is to have your blood pressure checked.
Some Americans are more at risk to develop hypertension than others. These groups would include:
- People with family members who have high blood pressure, diabetes and other cardiovascular diseases
- Women who are pregnant or taking birth control
- People who are overweight
- People who are inactive
- People who consume a lot of alcohol
- People who smoke
- People who eat foods with too much sodium (salt)
Also, African-Americans tend to develop high blood pressure more often. It also tends to be more severe than people of any other racial background in the U.S.
Again, the best way to know if have high blood pressure is to have it checked. Currently, there is no cure for hypertension. However, if you are diagnosed with this disease, using medications as prescribed and making lifestyle changes can help to reduce your risk of stroke, heart disease, kidney disease and other complications.
For more details about high blood pressure and what you can do, I recommend you visit the American Heart Association’s website at www.heart.org/bloodpressure. For more information, contact Dr. Jims D. Jean-Jacques, St. Joseph Cardiology, at (207) 907-1771 or learn more here.