About Blood Pressure & Cholesterol
How to Read Blood Pressure Numbers
Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80. The first number is the pressure of blood in the vessels when the heart beats and is known as systolic pressure. The second number is the pressure between beats when the heart relaxes and is known as diastolic pressure. mmHg stands for millimeters of mercury.
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
Also known as Hypertension, high blood pressure increases your chances of having a heart attack, heart failure, stroke, kidney disease, and other life threatening illnesses. Blood pressure is the force of blood against the walls of arteries. Blood pressure rises and falls throughout the day. When blood pressure stays elevated over time, it is called high blood pressure. High blood pressure is defined as 140/90 mmHG or higher.
Regular exercise and a diet low in sodium (such as the DASH diet) can prevent someone from getting high blood pressure or lower the blood pressure of someone who already has hypertension. Your health care provider may also ask you to take medications to lower your blood pressure.
A person has pre-hypertension if he or she has a systolic (upper number) blood pressure of 120-139 or a diastolic (lower number) blood pressure of 80-89. People who have pre-hypertension are at risk of developing high blood pressure that requires medication. Those diagnosed with pre-hypertension can usually control or decrease their blood pressure through improved nutrition, exercise and stopping tobacco use if they are a tobacco user.