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High Blood Pressure 101

Jan 1, 2008
Knowing about your body can be very beneficial to your health as you age. Knowing about your blood pressure can help prevent strokes, heart disease and kidney disease. In this article you will find everything you should know about your blood pressure.

Anyone can have high blood pressure. It doesn't matter your age, race, ethnicity or gender. Many people suffer from high blood pressure and have a higher risk of strokes and heart diseases than those with regular blood pressure.

What is high blood pressure?

High blood pressure is the force of blood against the walls of your arteries. Your blood pressure is always rising and falling throughout the day and if it rises and stays that way over time, you have high blood pressure.

High blood pressure is usually referred to as hypertension. When you have high blood pressure it puts more pressure on the heart, making it work harder than usual. This is why you end up at risk for strokes or heart disease.

What is the normal blood pressure level?

The normal blood pressure level is less than 120 over 80 or less. The first number is your systolic pressure and the second number is your diastolic pressure. Your numbers are read 120 over 80, etc. If your pressure is 140 over 90 or higher you have high blood pressure.

What is systolic blood pressure? This is the force of blood in your arteries when your heart is beating.

What is diastolic blood pressure? This is the force of blood in your arteries when your heart is relaxing.

What are the risk factors of high blood pressure?

The most common risks of high blood pressure are stroke and heart disease. There are a few other risk factors that can be modified and some that cannot be. The following are some risks:

* Tobacco
* Physical Inactivity
* Diabetes
* Abnormal Cholesterol
* Being overweight

Who can get high blood pressure?

Unfortunately anyone can get high blood pressure but it is more common among African Americans. Nearly one in three American adults has high blood pressure. African Americans also have a much higher death rate from kidney disease and stroke than white Americans. Even so, with treatment you can help lower your blood pressure.

How can I lower my blood pressure?

Fortunately there are many different ways of helping to lower your blood pressure. Exercise is a great way to lower it. Doing physical activity will make your heart stronger over time. If you have a stronger heart it can pump blood easier lessening your risks of stroke and kidney diseases. It is never too late to start exercising!

If you are concerned about your blood pressure consult your physician. Ask any and all questions you might have and find the best way for you to lower it. If all regular ways fail, consider medication. Talk with your doctor about your health and lifestyle so he can choose the best medicine for you. If you want to live a healthy life, taking control of your blood pressure is very important.
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