High Blood Pressure: Health Risks and What You Can Do

High blood pressure is a “silent killer”, which means that there are usually no obvious physical symptoms to indicate high blood pressure is present. As many as one in five people do not know they have the condition, yet it can have serious consequences including heart attack, stroke, and peripheral arterial disease.

  • Heart Attack and Stroke – High blood pressure damages arteries and can cause them to clog more easily, leading to a heart attack or stroke.
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) – High blood pressure can cause atherosclerosis, a condition in which plaque builds up in the arteries. PAD usually affects the arteries in the legs, but can also affect arteries all throughout the body.

Understand Your Risk

The Association of Alexandria Radiologists provides screening tests to help you understand your risk.

  • Stroke Screening – Using an ultrasound, our radiologists can evaluate your arteries and blood flow. If significant carotid artery disease is present, treatments are available to reduce the risk of stroke.
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease Screening – Our radiologists can screen for and treat this condition with minimally invasive options including angiography, ball angioplasty and stent placement, and thrombolytic therapy.

Lower Your Blood Pressure

There are many things you can do to lower your blood pressure including:

  • – Regular, brisk half-hour walks have been proven to lower blood pressure.
  • Maintain a Healthy Weight – The more you weigh, the more blood is needed to circulate throughout your body. Getting to and maintaining a healthy weight will have a positive impact on your blood pressure.
  • Don’t Use Tobacco Products – Smoking or chewing tobacco puts you at risk for high blood pressure and many other diseases and conditions.
  • Reduce Alcohol Consumption – The average healthy adult male should consume no more than two drinks per day, and the average healthy adult female should consume no more than one drink per day.

Schedule A Screening Exam

If you have high blood pressure, talk with your doctor about screening exams for stroke or PAD. Stroke and PAD screening tests are quick, safe, and painless. The Association of Alexandria Radiologists has many imaging centers in the DC metro area. See our imaging centers in Virginia.

2017-07-19T14:46:08+00:00 January 20th, 2017|Uncategorized|