16 Million People Don’t Know They Have High Blood Pressure

16 Million People Don't Know They Have High Blood Pressure

A brisk walk, pumping iron, even a roll in the hay can make your systolic blood pressure rise – temporarily. But if, like “Southland’s” Regina King (svelte and athletic) or ex-quarterback Joe Montana (who’d think it?), you have chronic high blood pressure, you want to know it NOW.

Drs. Oz & Roizen
Dr. Michael Roizen & Dr. Mehmet Oz

New stats from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that 65 million Americans have HBP; about 35 million of them don’t do anything to control it; and about 16 million of those folks don’t even know they have it.

So for everyone, whether you know if your BP is up or not, here’s what to do:

Step No. 1: Get your BP tested; 85 percent of people with undiagnosed HBP have health insurance. So, no excuses – see your doc. No insurance? Most pharmacy chains do a blood pressure check for free. Just ask.

16 Million People Don't Know They Have High Blood PressureYour numbers? 120/80 is good; 115/76 is optimal (it slashes your risk for heart attacks and strokes in half). Dr. Mike’s numbers are 115/75; Dr. Oz stays around 110/75.

Step No. 2: If your numbers are up, try the DASH diet – whole grains, vegetables and fruit; 30 minutes of exercise daily (walking is our favorite); and if you have salt-sensitive HBP, limit salt intake to 1,500 milligrams a day. You’ll slash your numbers by 8 to 14 points.

Step No. 3: Take everything down a notch. Stress leads to overeating, bad food choices and lousy sleep habits – all risk factors for HBP. So make time for yourself, and try meditation to chill. No pressure, just a suggestion!

– Dr. Michael Roizen & Dr. Mehmet Oz

© 2012 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

Recommended Articles