The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that nearly half of all people aged 18 and older in the U.S. have hypertension, but only one out of four of them has the condition under control. This is a major public health concern, as uncontrolled high blood pressure (BP) can increase the risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. In fact, 670,000 deaths in the U.S. were due at least in part to hypertension in 2020 alone. The good news is that you can take action to support healthy blood pressure. Start by following these blood pressure tips.
Check Your Blood Pressure Regularly
Hypertension is often called a silent killer because it is unlikely to cause any symptoms until blood pressure levels rise to dangerously high levels. As a result, the only way to know for sure if your BP is elevated is to have it checked regularly. Your healthcare provider can determine how often you should check your pressures. If you have hypertension or are at high risk for developing it, you may need to use a blood pressure monitor several times per day at home.
The American Heart Association defines normal blood pressure as below 120/80 mmHg. Your BP is considered elevated if the top number is between 120 and 129 mmHg and the bottom number is still below 80 mmHg. If the top number is consistently at 130 mmHg or higher or the bottom number rises to 80 mmHg or higher, you may be diagnosed with hypertension. Talk to your doctor if you’re consistently seeing readings in this range.
Continue reading on the next page to discover how to keep your blood pressure healthy.