High Blood Pressure Is A Silent Killer; 203,946 Adults Diagnosed in CNY

SYRACUSE, NY – About one in four adults in the Central New York Region has been diagnosed with high blood pressure, a condition that if left uncontrolled can lead to crippling health problems such as strokes and heart attacks, according to a new Excellus BlueCross BlueShield report.

“We are concerned that the increasing obesity rate and the aging of our population will exacerbate this health problem in upstate New York,” said Arthur Vercillo, M.D., Excellus BlueCross BlueShield regional president. “It is important that people have their blood pressure checked and do what they can to prevent
or manage this condition.”

According to the report, High Blood Pressure Among Upstate New York Adults:

  • More than 200,000 adults in the eight-county Central New York Region have been diagnosed with high blood pressure.
  • Among the five upstate New York regions studied, high blood pressure prevalence was lowest in Central New York adults.
  • It costs about $56 million annually to treat Central New York adults who have been diagnosed with high blood pressure.

A blood pressure reading of at least 140/90 mm/Hg is high. High blood pressure can lead to a stroke, heart attack, heart or kidney failure and other health problems. Seventy-four percent of upstate New York adults with high blood pressure, for example, also have heart disease. But 27 percent of adults without high blood pressure have heart disease, according to the report.

“High blood pressure is often called the ‘silent killer’ because there are no symptoms and studies have shown that about one-third of people with this condition are unaware of it,” Vercillo said. “Having your blood pressure checked regularly is the only way to determine whether you suffer from this condition.”

The following healthy behaviors can help you control or reduce high blood pressure: exercising; maintaining a healthy weight; eating a diet rich in produce and low in saturated and total fat; reducing your salt intake; and limiting the amount of alcohol you consume.

To access the report, go to www.excellusbcbs.com and click on “Policy and Research.” The eight-county Central New York Region includes Cayuga, Cortland, Jefferson, Lewis, Onondaga, Oswego, Tompkins and St. Lawrence Counties.