Uncontrolled High Blood Pressure Can Kill You
High Blood Pressure is also called Hypertension. This is when your blood pressure is higher than normal.
If left untreated, high blood pressure can cause:
- Heart disease.
- Heart attacks and heart failure.
- Problems with blood vessels and circulation.
- Kidney disease.
- Eye problems (reduced vision, blindness).
- Sexual dysfunction.
- Early death.
“What is Blood Pressure?”
- Blood pressure is the pressure of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. Arteries carry blood from your heart to other parts of your body.
- Your blood pressure normally rises and falls throughout the day.
- Blood pressure is measured using two numbers:
- The first number or top number, called systolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats.
- The second number or bottom number, called diastolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart rests between beats. If the measurement reads 120 systolic and 80 diastolic, you would say, “120 over 80,” or write, “120/80 mmHg.”
- A blood pressure less than 120/80 is considered a “Normal Blood Pressure”.
Know Your Numbers:
- Nearly 1/2 (50%) of adults have HBP and only 1 in 4 have it under control.
- Hundreds of thousands more have it but don’t know it.
- African American adult patients are more likely than other groups to have high blood pressure.
- More than half of people 65 and older have high blood pressure.
- Because there are usually no symptoms, the only way to know you have high blood pressure is to get checked regularly.
Prevent and Control High Blood Pressure:
Healthy lifestyle changes are powerful.
If you smoke, quit now.
- If you have high blood pressure and smoke, your risk of a heart attack is more than double.
- For free help quitting, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW
Eat a heart-healthy diet and cut the salt.
- Limit salt (sodium) in your diet.
- Eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
- Choose low-fat dairy products and lean meat and fish.
- Limit alcohol intake.
- Get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity (such as a brisk walk) at least 5 days a week. Or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week.
- Visit CDC for further information on physical activity at www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/.
- If you are overweight, losing as little as 10 pounds can lower your blood pressure.
Take all the medication your medical provider prescribes.
- When diet and exercise aren’t enough, blood pressure-lowering medicines are safe and effective.
- Your medical provider may prescribe one or more medications.