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With high blood pressure affecting one in three American adults, it’s no surprise that the “silent killer” gets a lot of attention. But with so much information out there about HBP, it can be difficult figuring out what’s accurate and what isn’t. Here are four common HBP myths and the truth about them.

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MYTH #1: If I have high blood pressure, I would notice symptoms.

FACT: High blood pressure is often symptomless until it’s a medical emergency, but it can do permanent damage to major organs like your kidneys.


MYTH #2: If I have a family history of high blood pressure, I can’t avoid it.

FACT: While you are at an increased risk of developing it, lifestyle modifications may help you prevent or delay it.


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MYTH #3: I should only worry about the first number (systolic) in my blood pressure reading.

FACT: The second number (diastolic) is just as important. If either of these measurements is consistently higher than normal, discuss it with your doctor.


MYTH #4: Lifestyle changes are enough to control high blood pressure after a heart attack.

FACT: If you’ve had a heart attack, your doctor will most likely put you on a beta-blocker to reduce your risk of a second episode. These medications are designed to lower your blood pressure, slow down your heart rate, and reduce your chance of another heart attack.

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