There are some things that are hard to commit to memory: your mother-in-law’s birthday, how much milk is left in the fridge, and your last blood pressure reading, to name a few.
But over half of all Americans will experience high blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association. And considering that high blood pressure essentially doubles your risk of cardiovascular disease, you might want to memorize your next BP reading, says Paul K. Whelton, M.D., lead author of the American College of Cardiology’s guidelines on blood pressure.
High blood pressure means that your blood is pressing against your blood vessels harder than it should. Sounds innocuous, but over time, that can damage the vessel walls and allow plaque buildup to form, blocking arteries and depriving the body of the blood and oxygen it needs, says Amber Khanna, M.D., a cardiologist at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital.
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