(KUTV) Most people know that having high blood pressure increases your risk of tragic events – including death. However, high blood pressure isn’t the only thing people should be concerned about.
“A few years ago it was recognized that the variation of the top number, the systolic blood pressure, may have significance in itself,” says Dr. Brian Clements.
A new study out of Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute shows a variation of 22 or more between doctor’s visits, increases your risk of suffering a heart attack, stroke, heart failure, or even kidney failure.
“The fluctuation we’re talking about is each time you come to the doctor’s office in a relaxed setting. If at times it’s higher or lower, that’s what predicts mortality,” says Dr. Clements.
Even if your blood pressure is not considered high, having it go up and down increases your risk. This is why it’s so important for everyone to know their blood pressure reading and make a consistent effort to control it.
“The most important thing is to do all you can to regulate your blood pressure – get exercise, have a low-salt diet, try and keep your weight under control, and if you’re on hypertensive medications, take them as prescribed,” says Dr. Clements.
If you skip or forget to take your medication, you may end up causing a potentially dangerous fluctuation.