More than 30 percent of Americans have high blood pressure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The condition can lead to several serious medical conditions including heart and kidney disease. Such ailments can also lead to higher life insurance premiums.
Research released by the American Heart Association reveals that African Americans need to receive treatment sooner than they currently do. Furthermore, the researchers suggest that a combination of medications, rather than just one, be used to treat high blood pressure.
Lead author and chairman of Internal Medicine at Wayne State University Dr. John Flack says that people should try to lower their blood pressure once it reaches a certain point as levels naturally rise with age.
"Epidemiological data shows that 115/75 is the critical blood pressure number for adults, and every time that figure goes up by 20/10 the risk of cardiovascular disease essentially doubles," says Flack. "We think it makes perfect sense to start lifestyle changes at that lower threshold."
The CDC says consuming a low-sodium diet can help people to avoid developing high blood pressure. High sodium foods include processed deli meats and canned soups.