Face the facts
Hypertension. It’s what most people call high blood pressure, and it’s a chronic condition that affects 1 in 3 adults in the US. Watch this brief video to hear Dr. Stephen Friedman and Dr. Maya Yiadom discuss the causes, risks, and importance of treating your hypertension.
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Understand the pressure
When you have high blood pressure, the force of your blood moving through your blood vessels is too great. This makes your heart work harder than it’s supposed to in order to pump blood throughout your body.
Listen to your numbers
Your blood pressure can tell you a lot. A normal, healthy blood pressure for most adults is 120/80 mm Hg or lower. You have hypertension if your numbers are consistently 140/90 mm Hg or higher.
Your blood pressure reading is made up of two numbers:
- The top number is the pressure on the artery walls when the heart beats, known as systolic pressure
- The bottom number is the pressure on the artery walls when the heart relaxes between beats, known as diastolic pressure
It’s easy to get your blood pressure reading. Your doctor or health care professional typically takes it at the beginning of each appointment. Many pharmacies also have free blood pressure monitors in store that you can use, and sell easy-to-use monitors for home.