May puts spotlight on High Blood Pressure Education

High Blood Pressure Education Month

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month and Grand Strand doctors want residents to take it seriously.

Conway Medical Center’s Dr. Paul Richardson said South Carolina is a part of the “stroke belt” because the risk of stroke and other cardiovascular diseases are higher than other areas of the country.

High blood pressure can lead to an increase risk of stroke and heart attack, which is why monitoring it is crucial.

“Many times people refer to hypertension as the silent killer because that’s exactly what it is,” Richardson said. “Most patients won’t, might not feel a thing; they might not even know it.”

Richardson said this is why it’s important to have regular checkups with a doctor.

The American Heart Association has a chart showing numbers from normal to high. According to the AHA, there are risk factors within a person’s control and some that can’t be controlled when it comes to high blood pressure.

Some factors people can control include cigarette smoking, diabetes, unhealthy eating and physical inactivity. Factors out of one’s control include a family history of

Richardson said healthy eating and exercising are some ways to help lower blood pressure.

The AHA has tips to help monitor blood pressure at home. They suggest avoiding smoking, exercise and caffeinated drinks roughly 30 minutes before a measure.

It’s also recommended to take one’s blood pressure at the same time every day.

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