February 2020

Safety Tip: February

Take Care of Your Own Sweet Heart! 

High Blood Pressure ~ Background

What does it mean to have diagnosis of high blood pressure? 

High blood pressure is when the force of blood pushing against the arteries is consistently in the high range. High blood pressure is also called hypertension. 

Why is high blood pressure such a concern? 

High blood pressure is not normal and can lead to stroke, heart attack, heart failure, or kidney failure. 

At what point is blood pressure considered “high”? 

When blood pressure readings are consistently 140/90 or higher, blood pressure is considered high. 

  • Blood pressure that is between 120-139/80-89 is considered “prehypertensive” or pre high blood pressure. To reduce risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke, health habits need to be changed to include eating a heart healthy diet and participating in a moderate exercise program such as walking or riding a stationary cycle on most days of the week, gradually increasing time to about 30 minutes a day. 
  • Blood pressure readings that are less than 120/80 are considered “normal”.

What does systolic and diastolic mean? 

As an example, using a normal blood pressure reading of 116/74: 

  • Systolic is the higher or first number that is read (116). The systolic number shows the pressure while the heart is beating. 
  • Diastolic is the lower or remaining number that is read (74). The diastolic number shows the pressure when the heart is resting between beats. 
  • Both numbers in a blood pressure test are important. 
  • Known as the “silent killer” high blood pressure does not usually have symptoms. The good news is that high blood pressure can be treated… 

What to do if I think you have high blood pressure? 

Contact a health care professional as soon as possible.

Resource: American Heart Association… www.americanheart.org


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