About one in every three adults has hypertension or high blood pressure, a dangerous condition that can lead to strokes and death.
"Men are less likely to follow up with their doctors for general medical conditions including high blood pressure," University Health System physician Dr. Patrick Pierre said.
To reduce high blood pressure doctors recommend exercise, a healthy diet, and cutting down on the salt.
"There have been numerous studies that have linked a high sodium diet with elevated blood pressure." Pierre said.
High blood pressure causes hardening of the arteries. The effects can include chest pain, heart failure, heart attacks, kidney disease, and strokes as your blood has a harder time reaching the brain.
"You want to be able to intervene with abnormal blood pressures before it can do damage to certain parts of the body," Pierre said.
Normal blood pressure has a systolic reading below 120 and diastolic reading under 80. When it rises above that, you hit pre-hypertension and need to work on adopting a healthier lifestyle. If your blood pressure hits 140 over 90, you've got stage1 hypertension and likely need medication. At or above 160 over 100, that's stage 2 and quick action is needed.
If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, you need to follow your doctor's advice.
"People tend not to feel anything until something bad happens and that's why it's important to follow up with your doctor regularly." Pierre said.
In next week's Real Men Wear Gowns we go inside the heart with cardiac catheterization.
"It's the best way to find out if you have risk for heart attacks which arises from a blockage in your heart vessels," San Antonio Cardiologist Dr. Hinan Ahmed said.
For more men's health information call 210-358-3045. You can also find the rest of our Real Men Wear Gowns stories at wearthegown.com.