Globally, there were more than 1.2 billion people living with high blood pressure (hypertension) in 2019, a number that has doubled in the past 30 years, according to a large international study published in The Lancet. Based on data from 1,201 studies involving 104 million people in 184 countries, the researchers predict that 652 million men and 626 million women have high blood pressure. Almost half of them are unaware of their condition and more than half are left untreated. Although the treatment and control of high blood pressure has improved in many countries including the United States, about 45 percent of adults in the United States have high blood pressure or are taking medication to control it, and only 1 in 4 adults with high blood pressure have the condition under control according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. High blood pressure is considered a “silent killer”. Although it rarely has symptoms, the condition can cause serious, even life-threatening, health problems. These include heart attack, stroke, heart failure, and kidney failure. Your blood pressure – denoted by two numbers – represents the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. The first number (called systolic pressure) indicates the pressure exerted when the heart beats and pumps blood from the heart into the arteries. The second number (called diastolic pressure) indicates the pressure when the heart is at rest between beats. A normal blood pressure reading would have a first number less than 120 and a second number less than 80. High blood pressure is a reading of 140 or higher followed by 90 or higher. Treatment for high blood pressure usually begins with lifestyle changes, such as changing your lifestyle. B. healthier diet, more exercise and weight loss. However, medication can be prescribed if lifestyle changes do not bring your blood pressure under control.