Here’s a $1,920 Incentive to Keep Your Blood Pressure Under Control

Close up view on a female nurse sitting in front of a senior patient while measuring her blood pressure during a regular visit.
Zinkevych/Getty Images

The cost of getting sick can be astronomical. Heck, even the cost of staying well can be expensive.

Sometimes the best defense is a good offense, so staying healthy actually saves you money in the long run.

If you’re at risk for high blood pressure, here’s one more incentive to take steps to avoid a hypertension diagnosis.

New research in the Journal of the American Heart Association revealed that people with high blood pressure could spend as much as $1,920 more per year on health care than people without hypertension.

The study showed that people with high blood pressure had more inpatient costs, almost double the outpatient costs and spent nearly triple the amount of money on prescription medication as people without high blood pressure.

According to guidelines from the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association, normal blood pressure is 120/80. The higher those numbers climb, the greater your chance of being diagnosed with hypertension.

Family history, age and gender are among the risk factors for hypertension and, unfortunately, those are things you can’t do anything about to lower your chances of being diagnosed with high blood pressure.

So focus on risk factors you can modify, like eating a healthy diet, getting more exercise and quitting smoking.

Talk to your doctor about your risk factors and what you can do to keep your blood pressure under control.

In between doctor visits, get free or low-cost blood pressure checks at CVS Pharmacy, Walgreens or a health clinic participating in the American Heart Association’s Check. Change. Control. Program.

Many drugstores and grocery stores have free blood pressure-check machines, but use them with caution. They may not be accurate enough to give you a reliable reading.

Lisa McGreevy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She enjoys telling readers about affordable ways to stay healthy, so look her up on Twitter (@lisah) if you’ve got a tip to share.