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High blood pressure is a silent disease that can be fatal

Yet up to half of those with high blood pressure may not know they have it, as they do not have any signs or symptoms.  This is why high blood pressure is considered a silent disease, yet is puts people at a higher risk of a heart attack or stroke. The only way to know whether a person has high blood pressure is to check their blood pressure.

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HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE IN AUSTRALIA

6 Million

adult Australians have high blood pressure.

That’s 1 in 3 men and women. 2/3 of these people have uncontrolled blood pressure.

The proportion of Australians with uncontrolled high blood pressure increases with age with 42% of Australians over 65 having uncontrolled high blood pressure.

1 in 4 men have uncontrolled high blood pressure

1 in 5 women have uncontrolled high blood pressure

1 in 3 patients over 60 years old have high uncontrolled blood pressure

https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/risk-factors/high-blood-pressure/contents/high-blood-pressure (accessed 6 Oct 2020)
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HOW CAN HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE AFFECT THE BODY?

Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing on the walls of the blood vessels. When this pressure is too high, the heart has to work harder to pump the blood around the body and the blood vessels are put under greater strain as they carry the blood.

Therefore, high blood pressure can lead to an increased risk of developing a heart attack, stroke and heart failure. Other parts of the body, including the kidneys and eyes may also suffer damage.

Stroke:

occurs when the blood flow to the brain is interrupted, leading to a rapid loss of brain function.

Heart diseases:

fatty deposits clog up the main arteries (blood vessels) that supply blood to your heart which can lead to a heart attack.

Kidney failure:

when the kidneys don’t work as well at removing toxins, fluid and waste.

Loss of vision:

when damage occurs in small blood vessels in the eye.

Atherosclerosis:

when blood vessels narrow due to fatty deposits, leading to possible heart attacks and strokes.

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PEOPLE WITH HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE MAY HAVE OTHER ILLNESSES

Often people with high blood pressure also have other illnesses that can further increase their risk of developing a heart attack or stroke:

High cholesterol:

When there are high levels of cholesterol in the blood which can lead to narrowing of blood vessels and heart attack.

Diabetes:

Occurs when the amount of sugar in the blood is too high.  Unhealthy levels of sugar in the blood can lead to long term and short-term complications such as heart attack, stroke, foot ulcers, and blindness.

Coronary artery disease:

Reduced blood flow to the heart leads to a lack of oxygen to the heart. A common symptom is chest pain, which often occurs during exercise (also known as ‘angina’).

Chronic kidney disease:

Over time uncontrolled high blood pressure can weaken blood vessels around the kidneys. These damaged blood vessels are not able to deliver enough blood to the kidneys.

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HYPERTENSION: A WORLDWIDE PROBLEM

Although the proportion of hypertensive patients (prevalence) varies in different parts of the world, every global region is affected.