High blood pressure is
high blood pressure with no known cause. Blood pressure measurements are read as two numbers:
Systolic pressure: higher number, normal reading is 120 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) or less
Diastolic pressure: lower number, normal reading is 80 mmHg or less
High blood pressure is defined as systolic pressure greater than 140 mmHg and/or diastolic pressure greater than 90 mmHg. You are considered
if your systolic blood pressure is between 120-139 mmHg, or your diastolic pressure is between 80- 89 mmHg.
High blood pressure puts stress on the heart, lungs, brain, kidneys, and blood vessels. Over time, this condition can damage these organs and tissues.
High blood pressure is often diagnosed during a doctor's visit.
is measured using an arm cuff and a special device. If your reading is high, you will come back for repeat checks. If you have 3 visits with readings over 140/90 mmHG, you will be diagnosed with high blood pressure.
Sometimes people become anxious at the doctor's office. This may result in a higher than normal blood pressure reading. You may be asked to measure your blood pressure at home or in another location.
Your bodily fluids may be tested. This can be done with:
Images may be taken of your chest. This can be done with chest x-rays.
To help reduce your risk of getting high blood pressure, take the following steps:
Eat a well-balanced diet. The
—rich in fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy foods, and low in saturated fat, total fat, and cholesterol—may help keep your blood pressure in the healthy range.
Maintain a healthy weight.
If you smoke,
talk to your doctor about ways to quit.
Drink alcohol in moderation. Moderate is two or fewer drinks per day for men and one or fewer drinks per day for women and older adults.
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What is high blood pressure? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated August 2, 2012. Accessed September 30, 2014.
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