Senior Citizen's Guide to Cleveland 2013 Vol. 1 - page 32

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Say You Saw It in the Senior Citizen’s Guide to Cleveland
Health
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Article
When it comes to high blood pressure, what seniors
don’t know really can hurt them.
The prevalence and severity of high blood pressure,
also known as hypertension, increases markedly with
age. Only about 27 percent of people 60 years old and
younger have hypertension. That number increases
more than twofold to 63 percent for those aged 60-
79 years.[i] Yet, many people don’t know they have
high blood pressure because it has no warning signs or
symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Pre-
vention and Control (CDC).[ii]
Nevertheless, high blood pressure must be taken
seriously by everyone and particularly seniors. Left un-
checked, hypertension can lead to heart attack, heart
failure, stroke and kidney disease. The Million Hearts
Campaign, which counts America’s Health Insurance
Plans among its partners, says hypertension affects 68
million adults in the United States, contributes to one
out of every seven deaths and accounts for about $74
billion in health care services[iii]. That’s why hyperten-
sion is sometimes known as “the silent killer.”
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield supports efforts
to raise awareness of hypertension and to increase
actions that lead to greater control, heading off more
serious consequences. Although it takes patience and
perseverance, most people can gain control of their
high blood pressure over time by working closely with
their primary care physician. The biggest danger with
hypertension is simply ignoring it.
The first step toward controlling hypertension is for
Encourage Seniors to
“KnowTheir Numbers”
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