Why Hypertension is Known as the "Silent Killer" and Who's at Risk

Why is high blood pressure or hypertension often called the "silent killer?" It often doesn't show any noticeable symptoms, but can cause a heart attack or stroke. 

Dr. Anthony Fletcher, Interventional Cardiologist at CHI St. Vincent, describes the people at most risk for high blood pressure. 

"Lifestyle certainly has a lot to do with that. Diet, exercise and stresses. We do know that there's a higher incidence of hypertension in minority populations.

Smoking also greatly increases a person's risk of high blood pressure. Everyone should know their blood pressure. 

"Check your blood pressure. You can do that at home with home kits, or when you get your routine physical examinations. It's a very simple thing to do.