Older Americans and Blood Pressure

Many Americans do not know their blood pressure, leaving them vulnerable to fatal diseases that are treatable if detected early. Nearly one-third of Americans with high blood pressure do not even know that they have it, and only 27 percent of those who do are being treated correctly for it, according to a survey (Reuters Health). The National Council on the Aging (NCOA) surveyed 1,500 Americans over the age of 50 and found that almost half of the U.S. population does not know their blood pressure. In addition, most of those surveyed did not know the health risks of high blood pressure.

Americans over the age of 50 are especially at risk of diseases like heart disease, and should be tested annually for blood pressure. Those under the age of 50 can be tested every two to five years, if blood pressure measurements remain in the normal range. Encourage your members, especially those over the age of 50, to get their blood pressure measured and to consult their doctors about the health risks of high blood pressure.