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What You Should Know About High Blood Pressure

What You Should Know About High Blood Pressure

Every time your heart beats, it creates pressure on the walls of your blood vessels. If the force of this pumping is too high, over time it wears out the arteries. Persistent high blood pressure is a risk factor for heart disease.

Blood pressure measures the results of two forces:

  1. The force in the arteries as the blood pumps out of the heart, called systolic pressure, should be 120 mmHg or less.
  2. The force in the arteries as the heart rests between beats, called diastolic pressure, should be 80 mmHg or less.

Your blood pressure measurement is the systolic rate over the diastolic rate. Normal blood pressure is 120/80 mmHG or lower.

If your blood pressure reading is higher than 180 (systolic) or 100 (diastolic), take it again. If it's still this high, seek immediate medical treatment.

Unfortunately, high blood pressure often has few symptoms and you might not feel anything is wrong. Check your blood pressure regularly so you can spot—and treat—high blood pressure before it causes long-term damage.

High blood pressure can often lead to heart attack and heart failure, stroke, kidney failure and other health consequences.

GOOD News: It’s never too late to make healthy lifestyle changes to lower your blood pressure, such as quitting smoking, eating healthy foods and becoming more active.

blood pressure chart

Source: American Heart Association

What Can I Do to Improve My Blood Pressure?

blood pressure

To learn more about the cardiac program visit Mary Washington Healthcare.