The Real Truth About High Blood Pressure Statistics

High blood pressure statistics vary significantly from study to study. One study, for example says that there are “only” 30 million Americans who suffer from hypertension or high blood pressure while another study claims that there are 72 million Americans affected by this medical condition. Other studies say yet another thing. Why the big differences in the statistics?

One problem with high blood pressure statistics is that there is still a debate as to what “high blood pressure” really is, i.e., when is one considered to be suffering from hypertension? Some medical practitioners, for example, consider a diastolic reading of 90 as the minimum reading required to be considered “high blood pressure”. Others say that a diastolic reading of 80 can already be considered high.

These differences in definition not only accounts for the variance in the high blood pressure statistics, but also explains why two people who have the same blood pressure reading but consult different doctors will have different diagnosis and, as a result different treatment regimens, i.e., one would probably be prescribed high blood pressure drugs, while the other would not.

Another problem with the variance in high blood pressure statistics of different studies is that a blood pressure reading is a “snapshot” of the person’s condition at the time of the reading, hence could be affected by conditions that are of a transient nature. For example, someone who has an infection that has not been detected could manifest hypertensive readings which could normalize once the infection has been cured. Another example is when a person whose blood pressure is being read is undergoing a stressful moment at the time of the reading. This could likewise manifest a temporary hypertensive situation.

A final example is when the reading is done in an area that is hot because heat increases the blood pressure. These “aberrations” could be resolved by conducting constant monitoring of the blood pressure reading of a control group over a period of time, but this is not always the methodology that studies follow due to cost and time considerations.

Regardless of the variance in the high blood pressure statistics between different studies, however, what is indisputable is the truth that even the most optimistic statistics show that hypertension is a really distressing condition that the hypertensive needs to address because, if left uncontrolled over a prolonged period of time, high blood pressure could cause severe complications, including strokes and heart attacks.

Another truth is that there are millions of Americans suffering from hypertension who are not even aware of it. Yet another truth is that millions of Americans who are aware that they are hypertensive do nothing to address it, whether via medication, lifestyle change, diet and exercise, or attitude change. Still another truth is that tens of thousands of Americans die from high blood pressure complications each year.

The real truth is that, while hypertension is a real problem, its solution is not that complicated. All it takes is discipline, following the advice of a doctor, and good old common sense. You may not be able to get out of becoming a high blood pressure statistic; what is important, however, is that you do not become a death statistic.

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