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Information on Blood Pressure

General Information

Blood pressure is measured in terms of force against your blood vessels. Blood pressure is greatest during heart contractions (systolic blood pressure) and falls between beats (diastolic blood pressure). When a doctor tells you your blood pressure, they will normally give it in the form systolic blood pressure over diastolic blood pressure (ex. 120/80).

Why should I care about my blood pressure?

The higher your blood pressure, the more your heart struggles to pump blood to the rest of the body. High blood pressure, or hypertension, can lead to stroke, heart attack, kidney problems, eye problems, or death. Hypertension may be accompanied with high cholesterol and atherosclerosis.

How do I know if I have high blood pressure

High blood pressure is known as the "silent killer" because it may be accompanied with no symptoms at all. The only way to be sure if you have high blood pressure is to get it specifically checked. It is recommended that you have your blood pressure checked by your health care provider at least once a year. If you have high blood pressure, you should have it checked more often, as directed by your health care provider. Having your blood pressure checked is a non-invasive, quick, easy, and painless procedure. You can even have it checked at some shopping malls and drug stores.

What are normal blood pressure levels?

Systolic(mm/Hg)Diastolic(mm/Hg)
Normal Blood Pressure:130 or less85 or less
Borderline Blood Pressure:130-13985-89
High Blood Pressure:140 or more90 or more
Optimal blood pressure is 120/80 or less

What causes high blood pressure and what can I do about it?

People often experience a temporary rise in blood pressure due to physical exertion, exercise, stress, rage, or fear. Obesity, age, smoking, and alcoholism can contribute to hypertension, or a persistently high blood pressure, and should be treated with sufficient rest, a low salt diet, minimized alcohol intake, reduction in weight (if obesity is present), and exercise. Low blood pressure, if not caused by disease or injury, is generally considered an advantageous situation. Some studies, however, have linked low blood pressure, hypotension, with persistent fatigue and minor psychiatric conditions.
 
 
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