High Blood Pressure: Know the Facts

It is estimated that 68 million adults in the U. S. have high blood pressure. That is equal to approximately 1 in 3 adults. High blood pressure increases the risk for stroke and heart disease. It is known as a “silent killer” because there are few warning signs or symptoms. Many people have high blood pressure and simply do not realize it. That is why it is crucial to have your blood pressure checked regularly.

Blood pressure is the measurement of the force of pressure applied to the artery walls. Your blood pressure is measured using the systolic number and the diastolic number. The systolic number is the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart beats. The diastolic number is the pressure in your vessels when your heart is resting between beats. Blood pressure is read or stated with the systolic number over the diastolic number.

It is natural for it to rise and fall throughout the course of a day. When it stays high for an extended period, it becomes an issue to your health. Below lists normal, at-risk and high pressure levels in millimeters of mercury or mmHg.

Normal-systolic: less than 120 mmHg
diastolic-less than 80 mmHg

At Risk-systolic: 120-139 mmHg
diastolic:  80-89 mmHg

High-systolic: 140 mmHg or higher
diastolic: 90 mmHg or higher

Getting your blood pressure checked is a quick process. A doctor or other health professional can measure it or you can use a machine that is commonly available in pharmacies.  You can also get a device and monitor your blood pressure yourself.

If you haven’t had your blood pressure checked recently, make it a priority to do so. If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, closely monitor it and follow your doctor’s instructions. Eat a healthy diet that is low in sodium, fat and cholesterol. Incorporate more fruits and vegetables in your diet. Take brisk walks of at least 10 minutes in length, 3 times a day, 5 days a week. Do not smoke or if you do, quit as soon as possible. High blood pressure is very common but is also preventable. Know the facts and apply them to your health.It is estimated that 68 million adults in the U. S. have high blood pressure. That is equal to approximately 1 in 3 adults. High blood pressure increases the risk for stroke and heart disease. It is known as a “silent killer” because there are few warning signs or symptoms. Many people have high blood pressure and simply do not realize it. That is why it is crucial to have your blood pressure checked regularly.

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