The American College of Physicians (ACP) today released "Know Your Numbers: A Guide to Managing High Blood Pressure." Available for free to ACP member physicians to distribute to patients and their families, the guidebook and accompanying DVD -- featuring sportscaster James Brown -- will help patients learn about high blood pressure, what steps to take to control it, and how to lower the risk of heart and blood vessel problems.
Roughly one in every three adults has high blood pressure -- also called hypertension -- a serious medical condition in which the pressure against the walls of the blood vessels is too high. Hypertension raises the risk for heart and kidney disease, stroke, and many other medical problems.
"As the guidebook and DVD show, there are many ways to effectively treat high blood pressure," said Patrick C. Alguire, MD, FACP, ACP's director of education and career development. "Almost everyone with hypertension can bring their numbers down with lifestyle changes, medicines, or both."
Many people do not realize that they have high blood pressure because it is often "silent" with no obvious symptoms. For most people (about 95 percent), no single "cause" of high blood pressure is found. That's because hypertension is usually influenced by many factors, such as family history, diet, weight, and lifestyle habits. The risk of hypertension rises with age: even people with normal blood pressure at age 55 have a 90 percent chance of having high blood pressure later in life.
"It is important to get checked for hypertension," said Dr. Alguire. "It's a quick, painless, and simple measurement."
More information: www.acponline.org
Source: American College of Physicians
Explore further: Dutch doctors withhold/withdraw treatment in many elderly patients