Blood Pressure – The “Silent Killer”

bp Blood Pressure Screening Event

  • Patton Pharmacy will be offering free blood pressure screening events
    • Monday, May 15th 9am-5pm
    • Tuesday May 16th 9am-12:30pm
    • Wednesday May 17th 9am-4pm


What is High blood pressure?

Our blood vessels play a key role in the proper functioning of our body. Blood vessels transport oxygenated blood from our heart to the rest of our body, providing nutrients to our organs. High blood pressure is when the force of blood flowing through your blood vessels is consistently high. This is also known as hypertension.

 How Common is High Blood Pressure?

  • Affects an estimated 1 out of every 3 adults over the age of 20, or nearly 85 million Americans.
  • Nearly 20% of people with high blood pressure are unaware that they have high blood pressure

Risk Factors

Certain patient populations may be at an increased risk for developing high blood pressure. Risk factors include:

  • Age: ↑ risk increases with increasing age
  • Race/ethnicity: more common in African American adults
  • Overweight: ↑risk in people who are overweight/obese
  • Lifestyle habits: ↑risk in people with high sodium diets, lack of physical activity, elevated levels of stress
  • Family history: A family history of high blood pressure ↑ your risk

Signs and Symptoms

High blood pressure is one of the few disease states that often presents with no obvious signs and symptoms. The lack of symptoms to accompany high blood pressure has led to the nickname, “the silent killer”. Several symptoms that may accompany high blood pressure are often nonspecific and include:

  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Nosebleeds
  • Headache
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue


There are numerous causes to an elevated blood pressure. Some of the causes may be modifiable and others may not. Common causes may include:

  • Unhealthy lifestyle habits
  • Genetics
  • Certain medications
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Overweight
  • Other disease states

Long-Term Effects

Uncontrolled high blood pressure can have many damaging effects on the body overtime. It is important to catch and treat elevated blood pressure early so that the long-term complications may be avoided. Complications include:

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Eye damage
  • Heart failure
  • Peripheral artery disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Cognitive changes
  • Aneurysms


High blood pressure is diagnosed for most patients when blood pressure readings are consistently above 140/90 mm Hg. Diagnosis is done through a blood pressure test which is quick and painless.


Treatment is dependent on the cause of the elevated high blood pressure. Blood pressure may be controlled through lifestyle changes and/or medications.


Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help prevent high blood pressure. Things you can do:

  • Eat a healthy diet &  ↓ salt intake
  • Limit alcohol intake
  • Regular medical care
  • Regular exercise
  • Manage stress
  • Check blood pressure regularly

Additional Resources

  • The American Heart Association & The National Institute of Heart, Lung and Blood Institute