High Blood Pressure
Another name for high blood pressure is hypertension. (High blood pressure means the pressure in your arteries is consistently above the normal range. Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against blood vessel walls. It's written as two numbers, such as 122/78 mmHg. The top, systolic number is the pressure when the heart beats. The bottom, diastolic number is the pressure when the heart is at rest. High blood pressure is a consistently elevated pressure of 140 systolic or higher and/or 90 diastolic or higher. No one really knows exactly what causes most cases of high blood pressure. It usually can't be cured, but it can be controlled. Millions of Indians (1 in 4 adults) have it, and many don't even know they have it. Not treating high blood pressure is dangerous. You can live a healthier life if you treat and control it! High blood pressure usually doesn't have any signs-that's why it's so dangerous. Make sure you get it checked regularly and treat it the way your doctor advises.
Who is at higher risk?
- People with close blood relatives who have it
- People over 35
- Overweight people
- People who use too much salt
- People who use too much alcohol
- Women who take birth control pills
- People who aren't active
- Pregnant women
How can I tell I have it?
- You usually can't tell! Many people have it and don't know it.
- The only way to know if your blood pressure is high is to get it checked regularly by your doctor.
What can untreated high blood pressure lead to?
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
- Kidney failure
What can I do about it?
- Lose weight if you are overweight.
- Eat a healthy diet that is low in salt and fat.
- Be more active.
- Take medicine the way your doctor tells you.
- Know what your blood pressure should be and work to keep it at that level.
How can medicine help?
- Some medicines help relax and open up your blood vessels so blood can flow through better.
- A diuretic can help your body from holding too much water and salt.
How can I learn more?
- Talk to your doctor, nurse or health care professional. Or call your SAAOL Heart Center Tel: XXXXXXX, XXXXXXX, XXXXXXX
- If you have heart disease, members of your family also may be at higher risk. It's very important for them to make changes now to lower their risk.