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The leading cause of stroke is out of control high blood pressure. More than 72 million people in America have high blood pressure and more than 70% of those do not have what could be called well controlled hypertension.

In my life insurance dealings with those who have high blood pressure, it appears that the leading cause of poorly controlled blood pressure is the person in charge of controlling it, namely the patient. Like many medically controlled health issues there seems to be a tendency toward does adjustment based on how a person feels. The presrcripton is always very clear. One tablet twice a day, etc.

Self medicating as above is what leads to poor blood pressure control in most cases. A person with a history of hypertension can often feel just fine with blood pressure levels that would make many of us light headed. The logic I hear far too often is that they only take the medication when they need it. The problem with the logic is that if they feel like they need it, they should have taken the medication as prescribed.

Recently World Stroke Day focused particularly on the role of hypertension on the health issue that is the third leading cause of death in America and the second leading cause worldwide. “Stroke is a preventable catastrophe and hypertension is its most common and treatable risk factor,” said Vladimir Hachinski, M.D., FRCPC, D.Sc., Chair, Working Group, World Stroke Day, First Vice-President, World Federation of Neurology.

Bottom line. High blood pressure, taken seriously, is very controllable and ultimately shouldn’t cause any other health issues. People with well controlled hypertension can, if all other risk factors are good, get preferred or better rates from most companies. Uncontrolled is bad for life insurance rates and worse yet for your health.