This is one of the most important aspects of the cardiovascular system to control adequately. As the heart beats approximately 36 million times per year there are 36 million shock waves travelling down all the arteries in the body each year. So although moderately high blood pressure is unlikely cause much damage in the short term over 10 years there may be considerable arterial damage if each one of the 360 million shock waves down the artery is too forceful.
Research suggests that because it does not initially cause symptoms only approximately 50% of patients who have high blood pressure are diagnosed. Unfortunately, once diagnosed only about 50% of patients have their blood pressure adequately controlled. So overall only 25% of patients with high blood pressure are adequately treated.
The gold standard measure of blood pressure is a 24 hour blood pressure monitor – please see section on tests.