"High blood pressure is often called hypertension and sometimes ‘the silent killer.’ That is because symptoms are often unnoticed until they become extreme, such as with pulmonary hypertension, a severe condition affecting the heart and lungs.

“Detecting and managing high blood pressure is critical to prevent future harms, such as a stroke, heart attack, kidney and heart damage, hardening of the arteries or vision and memory loss.

“I encourage all adult Albertans to have their blood pressure taken regularly so that any abnormal blood pressure can be identified and a course of treatment started. Blood pressure can go up and down during the day, but if it stays up, it’s time to see your doctor. Some pharmacies also offer routine blood pressure testing.

“There is no cure for high blood pressure, but it can be managed through medication and healthy lifestyle choices, such as regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, eating a low-sodium and low-fat diet, reducing alcohol consumption, avoiding smoking and lowering your stress levels.

“High blood pressure is the leading preventable cause of cardiovascular death and disability in Canada and deserves our attention. World Hypertension Day, World Pulmonary Hypertension Day (May 5) and Hypertension Month, recognized in June, all have the goal of increasing awareness about high blood pressure.     

“Please share the importance of regular blood pressure monitoring with your friends and loved ones. Together, we can silence the silent killer.”