The Silent Killer

The Silent Killer

By: Jessica Martinez

In this article I’m going to shed some light on the importance of monitoring and managing blood pressure, often referred to as the “silent killer.” But first, let’s understand what blood pressure is and why it is called the silent killer. Blood pressure is the force of blood against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps it around the body. It is made up of two numbers: systolic and diastolic. Systolic pressure is the pressure when the ventricles pump blood out of the heart.

Diastolic pressure is the pressure between heartbeats when the heart is filling with blood.Your blood pressure changes throughout the day based on your activities. For most adults, a normal blood pressure is less than 120 over 80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), which is written as your systolic pressure reading over your diastolic pressure reading — 120/80 mm Hg.

Your blood pressure is considered high when you have consistent systolic readings of 130 mm Hg or higher or diastolic readings of 80 mm Hg or higher.

Examples of blood pressure readings are as follows:

  • Normal blood pressure: 120/80
  • Pre-hypertension: 130 – 139 / 80 – 89 (may increase blood pressure over time)
  • Hypertension: 140 and above / 90 and higher.
  • Blood Pressure Levels

When your bp is consistently too high, it can lead to serious health complications such as heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. The term “silent killer” is used to describe high blood pressure because it often has no symptoms, making it difficult to detect without regular monitoring. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1 in 3 adults in the United States have high blood pressure, but only about half of them have their condition under control. This highlights the importance of staying on top of blood pressure levels to prevent the silent killer from wreaking havoc on our health.

Recommend you to read: How to prevent heart disease?

So, why is it crucial to monitor and manage blood pressure? High blood pressure puts strain on the heart and blood vessels, increasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases, which are the leading cause of death globally. By keeping blood pressure levels in check, individuals can reduce their risk of heart attacks, strokes, and other serious health problems.

Here are some tips to help you stay healthy and manage your blood pressure effectively:

  1. Get regular check-ups: Make sure to have your blood pressure checked regularly, even if you feel healthy. Early detection and treatment of high blood pressure can prevent complications.
  1. Maintain a healthy lifestyle: Eat a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Limit your salt intake, exercise regularly, maintain a healthy weight, and avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
  1. Stay Active: Engage in regular physical activity such as brisk walking, cycling, swimming, or jogging for at least 150 minutes per week, as recommended by the American Heart Association.
  1. Manage stress: Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or mindfulness to reduce stress levels, which can contribute to high blood pressure. By incorporating these tips into your daily routine, you can take control of your health and reduce the risk of the silent killer silently damaging your body.
  1. Follow Treatment Plans: If prescribed medication for hypertension, take it as directed by your healthcare provider. Do not discontinue or adjust your medication without consulting your doctor.

By understanding the importance of blood pressure monitoring, knowing your numbers, and implementing lifestyle modifications recommended by healthcare professionals, you can take proactive steps towards achieving and maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. Remember, small changes can make a big difference in protecting your heart health for years to come. Stay informed, stay proactive, and stay healthy.


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. High Blood Pressure Facts. Accessed at: (2023, July 6)
  1. American Heart Association. Understanding Blood Pressure Readings. Accessed at: ngs (2023, May 30)
  1. What is high blood pressure? (2022)
  1. What is blood pressure and how can I measure it? (2016, September 25)
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