You know your blood pressure affects your heart, but do you know when and why?
Many factors contribute to heart disease, but Interventional Cardiologist Terence Connelly, M.D., explains that there’s one thing you can easily target to take charge of your heart health.
“Blood pressure is one of the most important risk factors that we have for the development of coronary artery disease,” he says. “We look at high blood pressure as one of the five major risk factors, which also include high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, and family history.
Left undiagnosed or uncontrolled, high blood pressure – or hypertension – can lead to serious complications, including:
- peripheral artery disease
- heart failure
- heart attack
“The typical signs of hypertension are basically none,” warns Dr. Connelly. “Most people will not have symptoms related to it. For moderate elevations in blood pressure, you don’t feel it. So it’s very important that you see your primary-care doctors, that you have your blood pressure checked frequently.”
The American Heart Association warns that a blood pressure of 130/80 or higher means you’re more likely to have a heart attack or stroke.
“I do get a lot of patients that will deny that they have a problem,” says Dr. Connelly “We try to work with their primary-care doctors in order to facilitate a healthy lifestyle with them, and then of course, we also do encourage them to take their medications.”
A heart-healthy prescription for sure.