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Controlling Your Blood Pressure, Saving Your Life

BALTIMORE, MD (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Millions of Americans have high blood pressure, but many don't know they have it. High blood pressure is called the silent killer because it doesn't have symptoms or warning signs, and can lead to heart disease, stroke and kidney disease. Letting your blood pressure go unchecked, could put you at risk for some very serious problems.

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Dianne Desantis is one of the 73 million Americans who have high blood pressure. Keeping an eye on it at home, exercising and eating better helps her keep it in check.

"I just stay active, try to eat right, reduce salt, not too much alcohol intake," DeSantis told Ivanhoe.

Controlling high blood pressure is key to staying healthy, but many Americans have undiagnosed or early stage high blood pressure and don't even know it. A new study shows a high percentage of those patients may also have kidney disease.

"Having high blood pressure is quite a risk factor for kidney disease even if it's only borderline high blood pressure," Deidra Crews, M.D., a nephrologist at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, in Baltimore, explained.

Nephrologists or kidney experts, found that over 17 percent of people diagnosed with early stage high blood pressure, or borderline hypertension, have kidney disease, and 22 percent of people with undiagnosed high blood pressure have kidney disease and aren't even aware of it.

High blood pressure pushes blood into the kidneys too fast, damaging the organs.

"We think that over time if a person does have elevated blood pressure, that actually ultimately can lead to complete kidney failure," Dr. Crews said.

Doctors caught DeSantis's high blood pressure early.

"I do think it's important to keep my blood pressure under control because it can lead to other health issues," DeSantis said.

She's keeping important health issues in check.

Persistent high blood pressure may require medication. Completely normal blood pressure is less than 120 over 80.

Click here to Go Inside This Science or contact:

Stephanie Desmon
Senior Media Relations Representative
Johns Hopkins Medicine
(410) 955-8665

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