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High Blood Pressure/Hypertension—The Silent Killer

High blood pressure is called “high” because the NORMAL reading for the US population SHOULD be 120/80… which is stated as “120 over 80” in medical lingo. Blood pressure readings less than 120/80 are perfectly normal…better than normal…until lower blood pressure reaches a point where the brain and vital organs are not receiving enough blood flow. So, if you are walking around with a blood pressure of LESS than 120/80…GOOD FOR YOU!!! Having one high blood pressure reading does NOT mean you have hypertension. Hypertension is defined as the sustained high blood pressure readings over time…measured usually in a 12-month multiple visit monitoring before starting any medications.

Diet, exercise and weight loss should all be considered before jumping into taking blood pressure medications.  

The statistics look like this: about 1/3 of the US adult population suffers from Hypertension. It is called the Silent Killer because only about HALF of those people know they have high blood pressure and get treated with the plethora of medications available today to control high blood pressure readings. The other half of that group simply DO NOT KNOW they have hypertension putting themselves at risk for sudden death. Since hypertension is insidious…slowly worsening as we get older, there are often NO warning symptoms like a sudden headache or ringing in the ears. But then you have a stroke….or heart attack…or heart failure…or kidney failure…or any number of medical issues related to untreated and uncontrolled long term high blood pressure stressing the body. In 95% of the cases, hypertension has no real cause and is simply called “Essential Hypertension”. Medical conditions like renal artery stenosis, hyperthyroidism, diseases of the aorta, even pregnancy can CAUSE hypertension. 

Our focus will be on Essential Hypertension and your LIFE INSURANCE PROTECTION. Hypertension runs in families and within ethnic groups. Genetics play a role that is just beginning to be understood. High salt intake aggravates your blood pressure by increasing retained water. High alcohol intake also adds to fluid overloads taxing your body. Hence one of the treatment medications for hypertension is a “water pill” called a diuretic that reduces body fluid.

Untreated Hypertension puts tremendous strain on the heart, the kidneys, and the peripheral arteries: those small arteries in your legs, eyes and brain. Failing to properly treat Hypertension can result in Heart disease, kidney disease, and arterial diseases including aneurysms and strokes.

A Blood Pressure reading is simple, painless and fast. Many pharmacies today have automatic Blood Pressure cuffs you can simply put on and get a check. DO IT….it could save your life. Often, a LIFE INSURACE EXAM will be needed as part of the underwriting process and will include the routine BP check, so please watch your fluid intake prior to the exam now that you know that excess fluid can increase your Blood Pressure readings…..perhaps enough to push you out of a Preferred Risk class to a higher risk classification. Something to think about. The Goal is to PAY THE LOWEST PREMIUMS POSSIBLE so let’s make sure you appear to the underwriter in your best possible light! We have many suggestions on how to assist you before a LIFE INSURANCE EXAM. 

Clearly, untreated Hypertension is a health problem but medicated hypertension can not only be insured at very competitive rates, most Essential Hypertension risks under good control with medications, can be offered within a PREFERRED RISK category!!


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