High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is one of the precursors to developing heart disease and stroke.

Because it is an important indicator, your blood pressure is typically checked each time you visit the doctor. When doctors take your blood pressure, they are measuring the pressure that blood exerts on the walls of the blood vessels as your heart contracts (systolic pressure) and relaxes (diastolic pressure).

blood pressure monitor

High Blood Pressure

blood vessel

High blood pressure (hypertension) results when blood places an excessive amount of force on the walls of the blood vessels. The heart and kidneys (which filter blood to regulate blood pressure) have to work harder than usual to do their jobs, leading over time to heart failure and kidney disease.

Blood vessels in the brain may also weaken and burst, causing a stroke.

Who's At Risk

High blood pressure often runs in families. You may be at risk if a close relative (parent, grandparent, or sibling) has been diagnosed with hypertension.

That's why it's important to know your family medical history. When you know you're at risk, you can take steps to prevent disease.

Reducing The Risk

The best way to keep your blood pressure low is to avoid smoking tobacco. You can also reduce your risk by maintaining a healthy body weight, participating in regular physical activity, and eating healthful foods. There are also medications that can lower blood pressure.

healthy lifestyle