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Everyone has and needs blood pressure, but high blood pressure is a disease. According to the American Heart Association, one in every three adults has high blood pressure, also known as HBP or hypertension. The reality is, even if you don't have high blood pressure, someone you know probably does. The good news is that high blood pressure is preventable and correctable.

Unfortunately, even though hypertension is common, it is widely misunderstood. Hypertension doesn't mean that a person is hyper, tense, or stressed. In fact, a person can be a calm, laid-back person and still have high blood pressure. Many people have high blood pressure for years without knowing it. Most of the time, there are no symptoms, but when high blood pressure goes untreated, it damages arteries and vital organs throughout the body. That's why high blood pressure is often called the "silent killer."

To help prevent this silent disease from taking a toll on you, it's important to get your blood pressure checked during your annual physical exam. The best defense against high blood pressure is to learn your numbers. Getting a blood pressure reading is painless and takes only a few seconds, so don't put it off.

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