Why Should You Care and Are You Getting the Treatment You Need?

From the GIC January 2000 Newsletter pdf format of fybjanuary2000.pdf

See related Hypertension Article

One of the first things a good health provider will do when you go for an office visit is take your blood pressure. Blood pressure measures the pressure of the blood within your arteries. Taking a blood pressure reading is the primary means of identifying risk for hypertension; many people with hypertension do not have symptoms.

Approximately 50 million Americans, including 30 percent of the adult population, has high blood pressure according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Complications from uncontrolled hypertension include:

  • Coronary artery disease
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Stroke
  • Kidney disease
  • Eye disease

Management techniques to control blood pressure to at least 140/90 mm Hg can include:

  • Medications
  • Weight loss
  • Increased exercise
  • Decreased intake of saturated fat, alcohol and sodium

Do not become alarmed if your blood pressure is high when it's first read. The only way health providers can reliably measure hypertension is through three elevated blood pressure readings. The important question is - is your doctor monitoring your blood pressure and working with you to keep it low, a criterion of the National Center for Quality Assurance (NCQA).

This information provided by the Group Insurance Commission .