or high blood pressure, is determined by the amount of blood
your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in
your arteries. The more blood your heart pumps and the
narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure.
Clinic nephrology and hypertension expert Dr. Ivan Porter
agrees that everyone age 18 or older should have regular blood
pressure checks, and, if the numbers are high, they should
take steps to lower them.
biggest challenge is that there are generally no symptoms
associated with high blood pressure. That’s why they call it
the silent killer," Porter says. "But, having high
blood pressure long term can cause many serious health
problems, such as heart disease and stroke, so it’s vital to
keep blood pressure numbers down."
YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE NUMBERS AND WHAT THEY MEAN
reviewing your blood pressure numbers, the top number, or
systolic pressure, represents the pressure in your arteries
when your heart pumps. The lower number, or diastolic
pressure, represents the pressure in your arteries when your
heart is at rest. Ideal blood pressure numbers can vary
depending on age and medical conditions, but here is some
blood pressure is normal if it’s below 120/80.
prehypertension if your top number ranges from 120 to 139 or
your lower number ranges from 80 to 89. Prehypertension tends
to get worse over time.
hypertension if your numbers are above 140/90.Untreated high
blood pressure puts you at increased risk for:
Heart attack or stroke
Weakened and narrowed blood vessels in your kidneys
Thickened, narrowed or torn blood vessels in the eyes
Trouble with memory or understanding
and/or changes in lifestyle can help get blood pressure
numbers down. These healthy habits can make a difference:
a healthy diet with less salt (Dietary Approaches to Stop
Hypertension, or DASH, diet).
Maintain a healthy weight or lose weight if you’re
overweight or obese.
blood pressure is common, especially for people over 60. Talk
to your healthcare provider to ensure your blood pressure
numbers are where they should be.