What is Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)?
Hypertension is when a person’s blood pressure is 140/90 at least 2 times in one sitting or visit with your provider.
Blood pressure is the amount of pressure that is applied to your arteries when blood is pumped to your body.
The top number in a blood pressure reading is the pressure as your heart beats and pushes blood through the blood vessels. We call this number “systolic” pressure. The bottom number is the pressure when the vessels relax and the heart fills back up with blood. This number we call “diastolic” pressure.
The lower your blood pressure the greater your chances are to prevent heart attack or stroke. You can help control your blood pressure with healthy lifestyle changes. Eat more fruits and vegetables, less salt and less fat. Becoming active is also a great way to control blood pressure and is a great partner with healthy eating.
If you feel you may have high blood pressure, please see your doctor.
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What Is "Normal" Blood Pressure?
A blood pressure reading has a top number (systolic) and bottom number (diastolic).
The ranges are:
Normal: Less than 120 over 80 (120/80)
Prehypertension: 120-139 over 80-89
Stage 1 high blood pressure: 140-159 over 90-99
Stage 2 high blood pressure: 160 and above over 100 and above
High blood pressure in people over age 60: 150 and above over 90 and above
What Causes High Blood Pressure?
Essential hypertension is also greatly influenced by diet and lifestyle. The link between salt and high blood pressure is especially compelling. People living on the northern islands of Japan eat more salt per capita than anyone else in the world and have the highest incidence of essential hypertension. By contrast, people who add no salt to their food show virtually no traces of essential hypertension.
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SOURCE: American Heart Association. American Medical Association.