Give Your Heart a Break
High blood pressure (HBP) is a serious condition that can lead to coronary heart disease (also called coronary artery disease), heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, and other health problems.
“Blood pressure” is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood. If this pressure rises and stays high over time, it can damage the body in many ways.
About one in three adults in the United States has HBP. The condition itself usually has no symptoms. You can have it for years without knowing it. During this time, though, HBP can damage the heart, blood vessels, kidneys, and other parts of your body. Knowing your blood pressure numbers is important, even when you are feeling fine.
If your blood pressure is normal, you can work with your healthcare team to keep it that way. If your blood pressure is too high, treatment may help prevent damage to your body’s organs.
Blood pressure is measured as systolic and diastolic pressures. “Systolic” refers to blood pressure when the heart beats while pumping blood. “Diastolic” refers to blood pressure when the heart is at rest between beats. You most often will see blood pressure numbers written with the systolic number above or before the diastolic number, such as 120/80 mmHg. (The mmHg is millimeters of mercury—the units used to measure blood pressure.)
Blood pressure does not stay the same all the time. It lowers as you sleep and rises when you wake up. Blood pressure also rises when you are excited, nervous, or active. If your numbers stay above normal most of the time, you are at risk for health problems. All levels above 120/80 mmHg raise your risk, and the risk grows as blood pressure numbers rise. “Prehypertension” means you are likely to end up with HBP, unless you take steps to prevent it.
If you are being treated for HBP and have repeat readings in the normal range, then your blood pressure is under control. However, you still have the condition. You should see your doctor and follow your treatment plan to keep your blood pressure under control.
Source: www.osha.gov Provided by AGH’s WellnessWorks program