ATLANTA, May 29, 2014 – High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, may be painless as it develops, but it’s effects on your health are incredibly dangerous. In addition to damaging the lining of the arteries and increasing your risk of heart disease, hypertension also can cause heart failure, stroke and kidney disease including kidney failure. It also boosts your risk for dementia and, for men, erectile dysfunction. Based on data from its scientifically-validated health risk assessment the RealAge Test, Sharecare, the online health and wellness engagement platform created by Dr. Mehmet Oz and WebMD founder Jeff Arnold, has identified the 10 American cities where residents struggle with hypertension the most: Greensboro, N.C.; New Orleans; Memphis, Tenn.; Greenville, S.C.; Louisville, Ky.; St. Louis; Las Vegas; Virginia Beach, Va.; Buffalo, N.Y.; Oklahoma City, Okla.

“Hypertension is called the silent killer for a good reason — it doesn’t have any symptoms,” says Keith Roach, MD, chief medical officer for Sharecare and co-creator of the RealAge Test. “If you don’t know what your blood pressure is, you’ve got to get it checked – and if it’s consistently over 140, it’s time to see your healthcare provider.”

Having optimal blood pressure (110/70) can make your RealAge one year younger; while borderline hypertension (140/90) can add up to four years to your RealAge, and very high blood pressure (160/100) can prematurely age your body by up to nine years.

To lower blood pressure and ultimately live a longer, healthier life, Dr. Roach recommends keeping up an exercise routine, eating a diet full of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, managing stress and anger, not smoking, and improving your sleep quality. For more information about how to manage and relieve hypertension, go to https://www.sharecare.com/health/high-blood-pressure.

Sharecare’s analysis also revealed the 10 American cities where residents do the best job of keeping their blood pressure in the healthy zone: Minneapolis; Denver; Hartford, Conn.; San Diego; Boston; San Francisco; New York; Milwaukee; Raleigh, N.C.; Los Angeles.

And to find out your body’s true age, join Sharecare – membership is free – and take the RealAge Test at www.sharecare.com/realagetest.

About Sharecare

Sharecare is a health and wellness engagement platform that helps people to live healthier lives by connecting them to personalized resources including local healthcare providers, high-quality information from experts, interactive programs and clinical decision support tools, including its iOS-exclusive app AskMD. The power behind Sharecare is a unique, social Q&A format that provides the collective wisdom of America’s top experts—greatly simplifying the search for health information – and its scientifically-based health risk assessment, the RealAge® Test, taken by more than 33 million people and validated in peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE as a more accurate predictor of mortality than calendar age and the Framingham Risk Score. Created by Jeff Arnold and Dr. Mehmet Oz in partnership with Harpo Productions, Sony Pictures Television and Discovery Communications, Sharecare allows people to ask, learn and act upon questions of health and wellness, creating an active community where knowledge is shared and put into practice—simply said, sharing care. Launched in 2010, Sharecare is based in Atlanta.