Did you know that approximately 60 percent of all adult Americans are impacted by hypertension or high blood pressure?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one out of every three adult Americans currently suffers from high blood pressure.
Another 30 percent have pre-hypertension. Pre-hypertension is blood pressure which is elevated above normal levels but not quite high enough yet to be considered hypertensive.
An equal opportunity condition, high blood pressure affects men and women, as well as people of all ages, geographies, and ethnicities.
While anyone can develop high blood pressure, certain demographics are at a greater risk for high blood pressure than others.
Men under age 45 generally have higher rates of high blood pressure but the trend reverses as we age, putting women at a greater risk.
Ethnicity also plays a role in high blood pressure. More African-Americans have high blood pressure than any other single ethnic group.
The CDC reports that 43 percent of all African-American men and almost 46 percent of African-American women have high blood pressure. High blood pressure also develops earlier in African-Americans and tends to be more severe than in other demographics.
High blood pressure puts you at an increased risk of other serious -- and sometimes life threatening -- health conditions such as heart disease and stroke.
The good news is that blood pressure levels can be reduced by lifestyle changes. If you’re a member of the 60 percent club, one of the first lifestyle changes recommended should include dietary changes such as eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, and limiting the amount of daily salt intake.
While much emphasis has been placed on limiting dietary salt as a means of reducing high blood pressure, the results of a new study suggest that stress may be a contributing factor to salt retention.