High blood pressure remains a silent killer

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Blood pressure machines can be found at local supermarkets. Photo by Suriyanshi Rawat

Harsh Singh

High blood pressure lives in almost every American household, and the worst thing is many people don’t even know they are suffering from it. 67 million american adults have high blood pressure, according to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention. University of Missouri-Columbia Neuroscientist Dr. Mahesh Thakkar said high blood pressure has links to fatal diseases such as stroke or heart disease, which are ranked in first and second place respectively by the World Health Organization as the leading causes of death.
“High blood pressure is known as a silent killer because people are unaware they have the condition until a later age,” Thakkar said. “That is why it is very important to start checking your blood pressure during your teenage years.”
Thakkar said checking your blood pressure at a younger age can help reduce the risk of hypertension, which is having high blood pressure without having the symptoms. Junior Josh Robbins, whose family has a prominent history of blood pressure, said he has to be extra careful.
“My dad’s side of the family has lived with high blood pressure, so I see my dad having a restriction on his diet and taking medicine every day for safety,” Robbins said. “I know there is a family history of blood pressure so I take extra precautions such as not eating too much of those oily foods.”
Thakkar said some common ways to control blood pressure other than taking medication is to exercise regularly, eat diets with small amounts of sodium and reduce alcohol consumption. To balance out the risk of high blood pressure, Robbins said he plays competitive soccer and eats a limited diet including no soda.
“I know I can’t take out the chance of me having high blood pressure one day,” Robbins said. “However, I know I can do multiple things in my life to reduce the risk of high blood pressure.”
Agreeing with Thakkar, RBHS nurse Tammy Adkins said living a balanced life from an early age is key to a healthy future.
“I just think it is so important exercise on a regular basis and eat a healthy diet in general,” Adkins said. “However, with the chance of getting high blood pressure which can lead to even more things, the importance of a balanced lifestyle is even more valued.”
By Harsh Singh