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What is High Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of your blood vessels while your heart circulates blood throughout your body. High blood pressure is the leading cause of heart attacks, strokes, and kidney disease.

How do I know if my blood pressure is high?

Most people with high blood pressure do not experience any symptoms. You could have high blood pressure for years without realizing it. Because of this, it is often referred to as a “silent killer.” The only way to determine whether you have high blood pressure is to have it measured.

How is blood pressure determined?

Blood pressure is measured by wrapping a blood pressure cuff around your arm. The cuff is pumped up and then released while listening to the pulse.

Blood pressure is measured using two numbers. The top number (called “systolic pressure”) is the pressure when your heart is beating. The bottom number (known as “diastolic pressure”) represents the pressure in your heart when it rests between beats. A blood pressure reading of 120/80 is interpreted as “120 over 80.”

Adults aged 18 and older have a normal blood pressure of less than 120/80. For adults 18 and older, blood pressure of 140/90 or higher is considered high.

A single high reading may not indicate that you have high blood pressure. It should be confirmed on follow-up visits to your healthcare provider.

Is high blood pressure a serious condition?

Yes. High blood pressure can cause problems in a variety of organs, including your kidneys and heart. It causes your heart to work harder. Over time, this can cause your heart to grow larger and weaker, increasing your risk of heart attack and stroke. It can also damage your kidney’s tiny blood vessels. Over time, this can result in kidney disease or failure. It can also cause an early death. In fact, according to a recent report from the American Heart Association, high blood pressure causes nearly 1,000 deaths per day!

Keeping your blood pressure under control reduces your risk of these issues. That is why it is critical to determine if you have high blood pressure and seek treatment.

What should I do if my blood pressure is high?

Eat healthy foods, get regular exercise, and limit your salt intake. You may also need to take blood pressure medications. Keeping blood pressure under control is the most effective way to reduce your risk of developing kidney disease or other health issues, such as heart attacks or strokes.

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