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Hypertension Awareness Month

May is Hypertension Awareness Month

What is Hypertension?

Hypertension is another name for high blood pressure. Blood pressure is a measure of the force of blood against the walls of the arteries in your heart. You blood pressure is made up of two measures: the systolic pressure, or the force of blood on the artery walls as your heart pumps, over diastolic pressure, which is the force of blood on the artery walls when your heart is at rest. Typically a blood pressure reading of 140/90 or above means you have hypertension. However, if you have diabetes your blood pressure should be within the range of 130-140/80-85.

What causes high blood pressure?

There are several things that can lead to hypertension, including:

  • Family history of high blood pressure
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Aging
  • Having too much sodium (salt) in your diet
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Not getting enough exercise
  • Smoking
  • Taking certain medications

Can hypertension be treated?

While there is no cure for hypertension, it can be controlled through healthy actions such as:

  • Keeping track of your blood pressure readings
  • Taking your medications exactly how your doctor prescribes
  • Eating a healthy diet low in sodium and saturated fat
  • Exercising regularly
  • Limiting alcohol
  • Quitting smoking, if you are a smoker

For more information about hypertension visit these sites:
American Heart Association Link Opens in a New Window
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Link Opens in a New Window

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