Blood pressure: know your numbers

April 18, 2017 by Joan Mcclusky, Healthday Reporter

(HealthDay)—Having high blood pressure makes you more likely to have heart disease or a stroke. But because high blood pressure doesn't usually cause warning symptoms, you could be at risk without even knowing it.

That's why it's important to have your blood pressure checked regularly by a healthcare professional.

High blood pressure is a particular concern if you're black because it's more prevalent among blacks than any other group in the United States. Research from Johns Hopkins University found that a primary cause of high blood pressure among blacks was stress.

However, anyone can develop . When you have a blood pressure check:

  • The first, or top, number in the reading is called the systolic number; the second, or lower, number, is the diastolic number.
  • Normal blood pressure is less than 120 mmHg for and a diastolic level of less than 80mmHg.
  • Pre-hypertension is a systolic of 120 to 139 mmHg or a diastolic of 80 to 89 mmHg.
  • High blood pressure is a systolic of 140 mmHg or higher or a diastolic of 90 mmHg or higher.

If your blood pressure is normal, have it re-checked at least once every two years. If your blood pressure is higher than normal, follow your doctor's advice for getting it under control. You may need to check it yourself at home between office visits using a simple cuff monitor.

Though some people need medication to control high , the first steps are often healthy lifestyle changes, like eating more fruits and vegetables and cutting down on salt, unhealthy fats and cholesterol. Increasing exercise and limiting alcohol will also help.

To safeguard your health, make sure you know your numbers.

Explore further: Web-based counseling lowers blood pressure as much as meds: study

More information: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about high blood pressure.

Related Stories

Web-based counseling lowers blood pressure as much as meds: study

March 19, 2017
People who received regular lifestyle counseling online were able to lower their blood pressure as much as a medication would, researchers said Saturday.

Caution urged in the use of blood pressure lowering treatment for heart disease patients

August 30, 2016
Caution has been urged in the use of blood pressure lowering treatment for heart disease patients after a study in more than 22 000 patients with coronary artery disease found that too low blood pressure was associated with ...

Lifestyle intervention leads to 10-point drop in systolic blood pressure

March 20, 2017
In the first randomized, double-blinded trial of an online behavioral intervention for high blood pressure, participants in web-based lifestyle counseling reduced their systolic blood pressure (the higher number in a blood-pressure ...

Do you really have high blood pressure?

March 20, 2017
A study by researchers at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM) shows that more than half of family doctors in Canada are still using manual devices to measure blood pressure, a dated technology that ...

Cardiovascular disease risk of high normal blood pressure decreases in old age

April 20, 2012
High normal blood pressure becomes less of a risk factor for incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) and coronary heart disease (CHD) with age, according to a new study presented today at the World Congress of Cardiology.

Yoga reduces blood pressure in patients with prehypertension

December 8, 2016
Yoga reduces blood pressure in patients with prehypertension, according to a study presented at the 68th Annual Conference of the Cardiological Society of India (CSI).

Recommended for you

Novel genetic study sheds new light on risk of heart attack

October 12, 2018
Loss of a protein that regulates mitochondrial function can greatly increase the risk of myocardial infarction (heart attack), Vanderbilt scientists reported Oct. 3 in the journal eLife.

Researchers say ritual for orthodox Jewish men may offer heart benefits

October 11, 2018
A pilot study led by researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine suggests Jewish men who practice wearing tefillin, which involves the tight wrapping of an arm with leather banding as part of daily ...

Markers of dairy fat consumption linked to lower risk of type two diabetes

October 10, 2018
Higher levels of biomarkers of dairy fat consumption are associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to new research published today in PLOS Medicine. The study, in more than 60,000 adults, was undertaken ...

Seed oils are best for LDL cholesterol

October 9, 2018
If you want to lower your low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, called LDL or, colloquially, "bad cholesterol," the research is clear about one thing: You should exchange saturated fats with unsaturated fat. If you want to ...

Micropeptide restores heart function in mice

October 9, 2018
Researchers have discovered a micropeptide molecule that can restore normal heart function in mice, according to a study in eLife.

New risk test for sepsis for heart patients

October 5, 2018
Nearly one in four deaths in people with heart failure are caused by sepsis, according to new research.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.