Blood pressure is presented as two numbers. The top number is your systolic pressure or the pressure that occurs when your heart beats pumping the blood. The lower number is the diastolic pressure, which measures pressure between heartbeats. Usually, the number on top is higher than the lower number.
Blood pressure measurements and classifications are as follows:
Prehypertension means you’re at an elevated risk of developing hypertension and should take steps to prevent it.
Hypertension is often called the “silent killer” because it’s largely symptomless. One in every six people with high blood pressure doesn’t know they have it, which is why it’s important to have blood pressure regularly measured at your annual exams with one of our providers. Who is at risk of developing hypertension?
You’re at a greater risk of developing high blood pressure if you have a family history of the disease. Your risk also rises as you age. Hypertension usually develops over time, so it’s important to watch trends in your blood pressure readings.
These lifestyle habits also increase your risk of hypertension:
Stress, as well as smoking or other tobacco use, may also raise your risk.
Our healthcare providers monitor your blood pressure level regularly once you’ve been diagnosed with hypertension. We may prescribe medications to help you bring your blood pressure down, along with lifestyle changes that include more physical activity and healthier eating habits. We may recommend you lose weight and reduce your intake of alcohol and high-sodium foods.
When hypertension is unmanaged, it can have dire consequences. These include:
You’re also at increased risk of an aneurysm, in which the increased pressure from your blood weakens your blood vessels and causes them to bulge. A ruptured aneurysm can be fatal.
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