What is high blood pressure?

Blood pressure is the force of blood against your artery walls as it circulates through your body. Blood pressure normally rises and falls throughout the day, but it can cause health problems if it stays high for a long time. High blood pressure can lead to heart disease and stroke— the leading causes of death in the United States

Who is at risk?

One in three American adults has high blood pressure—that’s an estimated 67 million people. Anyone (including children) can have it.

Many factors that are beyond your control can increase your risk for high blood pressure. These include your age, sex, and race or ethnicity.
But you can work to reduce your risk by eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, and being physically active.

Signs and Symptoms

High blood pressure usually has no warning signs or symptoms, so many people don’t realize they have it. That’s why it’s important to visit your doctor regularly especially if you have high blood pressure readings to determine if you have hypertension. Take your blood pressure regularly and follow the guidelines set by your doctor.

How is blood pressure measured?

Your doctor measures your blood pressure by wrapping a stable cuff with a pressure gauge around your arm to squeeze the blood vessels. Then he or she listens to your pulse with a stethoscope while releasing air from the cuff. The gauge measures the pressure in the blood vessels when the heart beats (systolic) and when it rests (diastolic).

How is hypertension treated?

If you have high blood pressure, your doctor may prescribe medication. Lifestyle changes, such as the ones previously noted, can be just as important as taking medicines. Talk with your doctor about the best ways to reduce your risk for high blood pressure.

What are healthy blood pressure values?

To determine whether your blood pressure is normal, your doctor examines your systolic and diastolic pressures, which the gauge measures in millimeters of mercury (abbreviated as mmHg).

 Blood Pressure Levels

Normal systolic: less than 120 mmHg diastolic: less than 80 mmHg
At risk (prehypertension) systolic: 120–139 mmHg diastolic: 80–89 mmHg
High systolic: 140 mmHg or higher diastolic: 90 mmHg or higher

How can high blood pressure be prevented?

In addition to checking your blood pressure regularly and eating a healthy diet, you should:

Maintain a healthy weight

Be physically active

Limit alcohol use

Prevent or manage diabetes

Do not smoke cigarettes or chew tobacco

For More Information: http://www.americanheart.org