MORE THAN 50 MILLION AMERICANS HAVE HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE and a third of them don’t know it. Are you one of them? Or do you know what to do to keep it in a healthy range?
The American Heart Association guidelines for blood pressure are as follows:
:: High: A resting blood pressure of 140/90 mm Hg or higher
:: Normal: A resting blood pressure of 120/80 mm Hg or lower
:: Prehypertensive: A reading in between these levels
“People with high blood pressure and those in the prehypertensive range are at an increased risk of stroke, heart attack, heart and kidney failure,” cautions Alfredo Figueroa, MD. Knowing that your blood pressure is above the normal range is important because these health emergencies can be avoided if blood pressure is managed.
Cause may be a mystery, but treatment is not
There is often no known cause for high blood pressure, but there are many ways to improve blood pressure levels. One way is by taking medication. Another is by making lifestyle changes.
“If you do not know your blood pressure, or if you’ve been unsuccessful in getting it under control, talk with your doctor,” advises Dr. Figueroa.