Do you have high blood pressure? If you're otherwise healthy and in a low-risk group, you may be going undiagnosed. That's the result from a recent study on hypertension, which found that an average 65 percent of those under 40 who have high blood pressure don't have a diagnosis. Older adults, who are more at risk, don't fare much better, with 50 percent undiagnosed.
What's more, one large study shows that half of those who have been diagnosed and are receiving treatment don't have their blood pressure under control.
We all know that chronically high blood pressure can lead to cardiovascular problems, heart disease, and stroke, but that's not all. Another recent study looked at the effects of unregulated blood pressure and found that even slightly elevated blood pressure can prematurely age the brain, causing memory loss, and maybe contributing to early-onset dementia. What's more, that's also true for those who had slightly elevated blood pressure under the age of 40—the exact group that goes undiagnosed at the highest rate.
So what's a person to do? Make a few lifestyle changes to keep those numbers as close to 120/80 (the healthiest rate) as possible.