3/13/2008

Tips to Lower Your Blood Pressure


What is high blood pressure? High blood pressure (also called hypertension) occurs when the pressure of blood being pumped through arteries is above normal. Blood pressure is expressed as a fraction in millimeters of mercury (mmHg), such as 110/74 mmHg. The top number (systolic pressure) notes your blood pressure when your heart beats; the bottom number (diastolic pressure) measures your blood pressure between beats.
Normal blood pressure is below 120/80 mmHg. Above that level, patients are considered to have prehypertension. A blood pressure reading of 140/90 mmHg or above is considered high blood pressure, or hypertension.
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and heart attack. It is the most influential risk factor for stroke. High blood pressure overtaxes the heart and cardiovascular system and over time can cause blood vessels to harden, narrow, and even burst.



Compiled by Sara Broek

Illustrations by Echo Medical Media

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