Facts about Blood Pressure
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When the heart beats, it pumps blood to the arteries. This causes pressure in the arteries. Your blood pressure rises when your heart beats and falls when your heart rests between beats.
A blood pressure reading has two numbers. The top number, or systolic pressure, is the pressure while your heart is beating. The bottom number, or diastolic pressure, is the pressure while your heart is resting between beats.
High blood pressure has no symptoms. One in three adults has high blood pressure. Nearly one third don’t know they have it.
There are many risk factors for high blood pressure. Some are not within your control. For example, African Americans have a higher risk than whites. Age is a factor. High blood pressure most often occurs in people over 35. High blood pressure runs in some families.
Blood pressure readings
Normal Blood Pressure
Your blood pressure reading should normally be less than 120/80 mmHg for an adult.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure or hypertension is blood pressure that always reads at or greater than 140/90 mmHg.
Your blood pressure can change during sleep, exercise and other activities.
Keeping your blood pressure in check
Untreated high blood pressure can lead to stroke, heart attack, heart failure and kidney failure. The only way to tell if you have high blood pressure is to have it checked.
Ways you can control your blood pressure
- Keep a healthy body weight.
- Eat less salt.
- Eat foods low in fat.
- Exercise 30 minutes at least five days a week.
- Stop tobacco use. Avoid secondhand smoke.
- Avoid heavy, regular use of alcohol.
MODIFY DATE: 10/08/2012 11:40:41 AM PMMODIFIED BY: firstname.lastname@example.org