High Blood Pressure Awareness Month
What is High Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure is the force blood creates on the artery walls. Typically, blood pressure is stated using fraction. The top number of that fraction is called systolic pressure, it is the pressure on the arteries with heart contracts. The bottom number, diastolic pressure, is the pressure between heartbeats, when the heart is resting. When a person’s systolic and or diastolic numbers are too high, they are “hypertensive” or have high blood pressure.
What do the Numbers Mean?
- Normal blood pressure is defined as having a systolic blood pressure of less than 120mmHg and a diastolic blood pressure less than 80mmHg; this would look like 120/80.
- Pre-hypertension is defined as having a systolic blood pressure between 120-139mmHg and/or a diastolic blood pressure of 80-89mmHg.
- Hypertension is defined as having a systolic blood pressure of more than 140mmHg and/or a diastolic blood pressure of more than 90mmHg.
Causes of High Blood Pressure
High Blood pressure can come from a variety of sources, such as:
- Higher body weight
- Unhealthy diet
Treatment and Prevention of High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is known as the silent killer. A person can have high blood pressure and have few or no symptoms. For most, the only way to find out if they have high blood pressure is to have it tested. Some simple ways to reduce blood pressure are:
- Take all medications as prescribed.
- Exercise regularly
- Limit salt intake
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Minimize alcohol use
- Quit smoking
For more information on high blood pressure www.americanheart.org