Blood Pressure Category
Systolic (mm Hg)
Diastolic (mm Hg)
Less than 120 and
Less than 80
160 or higher or
100 or higher
How do I
know if I have High Blood Pressure?
won't. Even when your blood pressure is
chronically high, you won't have symptoms. In
fact, many people have this disease for years
without knowing it.
falsely believe that high blood pressure has to
do with being tense, nervous or hyperactive. You
can be a calm, relaxed person and still have
high blood pressure.
The only way to find out if you
have it is to have your blood pressure checked!
A blood pressure test is quick and painless. It
can be done in a doctor's office, hospital
clinic, school, nurse's office, company clinic
or at a health fair.
Why is it
Important to Treat High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure increases the
risk of coronary heart disease (which leads to
heart attack) and stroke, especially when it's
present with other risk factors, such as
diabetes. When a person has high blood pressure
and diabetes, a common combination, their risk
for cardiovascular disease doubles.
cure for high blood pressure. But it can be
controlled. If you have diabetes and high blood
pressure, work with your physician to get your
blood pressure below 130/80. Weight control,
regular physical activity and diet help lower
blood pressure and manage cholesterol and
glycemia (the presence of glucose in the blood).
When you talk to your healthcare provider, he or
she may discuss several options for treatment
if you're overweight.
healthy diet low in saturated fat,
cholesterol and salt.
more physically active.
alcohol to no more than one drink per day
for women or two drinks a day for men.
Factors of High Blood Pressure
Many of the
1.4million people in the U.K. with Diabetes also
have high blood pressure. Between 35 and 75% of
all diabetes complications are caused by high
The older you are, the more likely you are to
develop high blood pressure.
In the early and middle adult years, more men
have high blood pressure than women. But more
women after menopause have high blood pressure
than men of the same age.
Being overweight can make you two to six times
more likely to develop high blood pressure. And,
90% of people with type 2 diabetes are
Some families are more likely to get high blood
pressure than others. If your parents or
grandparents have or had high blood pressure,
you are at a higher risk.
Medications. Some over-the-counter
medications can raise blood pressure, such as
ibuprofen, cold medicine, appetite suppressants,
and some medications used to treat depression.
How Do I
Know if I Have High Blood Pressure?
pressure usually has no symptoms. In fact, many
people have this disease for years without
knowing it. Having high blood pressure
(hypertension) doesn't mean you're tense,
nervous or hyperactive. You can be a calm,
relaxed person and still have hypertension. The
only way to find out if you have this disease is
to have your blood pressure checked! A blood
pressure test is quick and painless. It can be
done in a doctor's office, hospital clinic,
school, nurse's office, company clinic or at a
A single high
reading doesn't mean you have high blood
pressure, but it's a sign that you need to watch
your blood pressure carefully. If your blood
pressure is normal, get it checked at least
every two years. If you have prehypertension, or
if you have a family history of high blood
pressure, you're at higher risk. Your doctor
will tell you how often to have it checked.
Blood Pressure Checked?
pressure is measured using a medical instrument
called a sphygmomanometer. A rubber cuff is
wrapped around your upper arm and inflated. When
the cuff is inflated, it compresses a large
artery in your arm, momentarily stopping the
Next, air in
the cuff is released, and the person measuring
the blood pressure listens with a stethoscope.
When the blood starts to pulse through the
artery, it makes a sound. Sounds continue to be
heard until pressure in the artery exceeds the
pressure in the cuff.
listens and watches the gauge, then records two
measurements. Systolic pressure is the pressure
of the blood flow when the heart beats (the
pressure when the first sound is heard).
Diastolic pressure is the pressure between
heartbeats (the pressure when the last sound is
heard). Blood pressure is measured in
millimeters of mercury, which is abbreviated mm
Pressure Cuffs Come in Different Sizes?
Children and adults with smaller or larger than
average-sized arms may need special-sized cuffs.
These are available in some pharmacies and from
medical supply companies. They may also be
ordered directly from companies that sell blood
pressure cuffs. Ask your doctor or pharmacist
of High Blood Pressure
pressure can be cured, and even though it can
usually be controlled, it's far better not to
develop it at all. You can reduce your chances
of developing high blood pressure by doing the
Healthy Weight. As your body weight
increases, so does your blood pressure. Being
overweight can make you two to six times more
likely to develop high blood pressure.
Physically Active. People who are physically
active have a 20 to 50 percent lower risk of
developing high blood pressure than people who
are not active. Aerobic exercises such as
walking, jogging, bicycling, and swimming are
Foods Lower In Salt And Sodium. Cutting back
on salt and sodium prevents blood pressure from
rising. No one should eat more than about 6
grams of salt a day, which equals about 2,400
milligrams of sodium, or about 1 teaspoon of
Alcohol In Moderation Or Not At All.
Drinking too much alcohol can lead to high blood
pressure. It's best to have no more than two
alcoholic drinks a day.