Hypertension: The "Silent Killer"

slider-image Hypertension is a Real Threat
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Albany Med Wages War Against 'Silent Killer'

In 2013, Albany Medical Center physicians, in collaboration with the region’s primary care physicians, launched a coordinated program to combat hypertension.

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Hands-Only CPR

CPR provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival – meaning the difference between life and death.

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Take Control of Your Blood Pressure Now

Chronic hypertension can have serious consequences, but modest lifestyle changes can help reduce an individual’s risk of danger.

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Did You Know?
  • 69 percent of Americans who have a first heart attack have blood pressure over 140/90
  • 74 percent of Americans with congestive heart failure have blood pressure over 140/90

Know Your Numbers

What is Hypertension?
Hypertension is a medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries of the heart is persistently elevated. Hypertension, also referred to as high blood pressure (HBP), affects more than 76 million U.S. adults and is the number one cause of stroke.     

Why is Hypertension a “Silent Killer”?
HBP can lead to serious health problems. Uncontrolled HBP is referred to as “the silent killer” because HBP has no symptoms.

If HBP is left untreated, it can lead to heart and coronary artery damage – including, strokes, heart attack, congestive heart failure, and cerebral and peripheral artery disease. It can also cause kidney damage, vision loss, erectile dysfunction, memory loss, among other health consequences.

What is Albany Med Doing for Hypertension?
An initiative developed two years ago by Albany Medical Center physicians to combat high blood pressure in the hundreds of thousands of patients they see every year has helped thousands control the potentially deadly condition. Under protocols Albany Med adopted in 2012, the percentage of Albany Med patients diagnosed with hypertension who were able to lower their blood pressure through treatment rose to 90 percent in 2014 from 66 percent in 2012. According to the American Heart Association, only 52 percent of Americans with hypertension nationwide have it under control. Learn more about this important initiative here.

Know Your Numbers to Keep Your Heart Healthy
A normal blood pressure reading for an individual is less than 120 mm HG Systolic (upper #) and less than 80 mm HG Diastolic (lower #), or “120 over 80.” It is written in the ratio like this: 120/80.

  • Individuals whose blood pressure is higher than 140/90 mmHg (140 systolic or above OR 90 diastolic or above) often become patients treated for serious cardiovascular problems.
  • When blood pressure readings rise to 180 or above for the systolic (top) number or 110 or above for the diastolic (bottom) number, seek medical attention immediately.
  • Systolic, the upper number, measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats (when the heart contracts).
  • Diastolic, the bottom number, measures the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats (when the heart muscle is resting between beats and refilling with blood).