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Dr. Karen Shackelford is an Emergency Medicine Physician with additional training in Internal Medicine. Since 1995, Dr. Shackelford has helped patients with immediate care of blood pressure emergencies and long term management of blood pressure problems. In addition to clinical expertise, Dr. Shackelford develops medical education courses and writes for several major online health publications.
Dr. Shackelford has a B.S. from Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. She has an M.D. from the University of Mississippi School of Medicine, and completed her residency in Emergency Medicine at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi.
High blood pressure is a national epidemic that affects approximately 1 in 4 American adults. The importance of treating high blood pressure is evident when we count the costs of untreated hypertension: heart failure, kidney disease, and stroke are just a few of the significant complications of chronic hypertension. Although high blood pressure refers to a blood pressure of greater than or equal to 140 mmHg systolic and/or 90 mmHg diastolic blood pressure, the dangers of elevated blood pressure begin at blood pressures as low as 115/75 mmHg, and double with every 20/10 mmHg increase in blood pressure. Individuals with "pre-hypertension" are those individuals with systolic blood pressures of 120-139 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure of 80-89 mmHg. These individuals are at risk of developing chronic hypertension. It's important to understand the disease of hypertension, to modify your risk factors and minimize serious health consequences.