High Blood Pressure is also known as hypertension. It is a common condition in the United States of America with 67 million Americans currently suffering from it, an average of about a third of all American adults. Although it is a medical condition that usually only affects adults, teenagers and children can also be diagnosed with high blood pressure. When blood pressure is elevated for long periods of time, the heart is working harder than normal to allow blood to circulate through the vessels. This is measured by how much the heart muscle contracts (systolic) or relaxes (diastolic) between beats, and equates to a maximum and minimum pressure, respectively. High blood pressure is said to be present if your measurements are constantly at or above 140/90 mmHg. Normal blood pressure is within the range of 100-140mmHg systolic and 60-90mmHg diastolic.
Hypertension is also known as “the silent killer”; since there are usually no indicators or symptoms to give you a clear warning that you are at risk. Hypertension increases your chances of having a stroke or acquiring heart disease, two of the leading causes of death in the United States. This is why it is so important to regularly have your blood pressure monitored, take steps towards eating healthier, and avoiding bad habits.
There are many different risk factors that can lead to hypertension such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, obesity, and genetics. These are just a few of the factors that will increase your chances of having high blood pressure. For this reason, it is imperative to consult with your doctors about your health history, steps to prevention, and what medications you may need to take to control of your blood pressure.