Uncontrolled high blood pressure, or hypertension, is the second leading cause of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) in the United States. Severe high blood pressure causes the kidneys to malfunction over a relatively short period of time; however, even mild forms of hypertension can damage kidneys over several years.
10 Facts about Hypertension and Chronic Kidney Disease:
- Approximately 50 million Americans (one out of five adults) have high blood pressure.
- Blood pressures that are consistently above 140/90 are considered high for adults 18 years of age and older.
- The top number in a blood pressure measurement is called the systolic pressure. This measures the force of blood against the walls of your arteries when the heart is pumping. The lower number is called the diastolic pressure. This measures the force of the blood when the heart is resting between beats.
- In more than 90% of the cases, no specific cause is identified for high blood pressure.
- Among African Americans, hypertension is the leading cause of kidney failure. Certain other groups, such as older people, people with a family history of high blood pressure and people who are overweight have a greater risk of developing high blood pressure.
- High blood pressure can affect anyone at any age.
- Hypertension is second only to diabetes as the leading cause of kidney failure, which requires kidney dialysis or kidney transplantation to sustain life.
- Uncontrolled high blood pressure increases the risk for heart attacks and strokes.
- African Americans develop high blood pressure more often than other Americans and then to develop earlier, more severe cases of the disease resulting in more strokes, heart failure and kidney failure.
- Prescription drugs, in addition to, healthy lifestyle changes, such as weight loss and regular exercise, are effective for treating high blood pressure.