Globally, nearly one billion people—half men, half women—are estimated to have uncontrolled high blood pressure, also referred to as hypertension. It is the most common and preventable risk factor for coronary artery disease and stroke.
Yet, there are often no symptoms, giving high blood pressure the moniker the “silent killer.” But you don’t have to be blindsided. In addition to having your blood pressure checked regularly, pay attention to these little known high blood pressure symptoms:
- Unexplained headaches
- Breathlessness when lying down
In severe cases, high blood pressure symptoms can include:
- Sudden chest pain
- Nose bleeds
- Severe headaches
When it comes to risk factors for high blood pressure, the causes can vary greatly. The most common include:
- Weight gain and/or increased body mass index (or BMI)
- Lack of physical exercise or activity
- High-sodium diet
- Chronic stress
- Tobacco use
- Alcohol use (more than three to five drinks a day)
- After age 55, more women develop high blood pressure than men.
Fortunately, you can outsmart the silent killer by maintaining a healthy weight, reducing sodium in your diet, and moving your body at least three to five times a week for 30 minutes or more.