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High Blood Pressure: What You Need to Know

High Blood Pressure: What You Need to Know

Did you know that:

ACTIVITY BYTES

Getting active increases your energy and your outlook on life.

  • Approximately 95% of Canadians will develop high blood pressure – or “hypertension” – if they live an average lifespan?1
  • Approximately one-half of adult Canadians have high blood pressure by age 60?1
  • High blood pressure significantly increases your risk of heart disease, stroke and kidney disease?2
  • High blood pressure can cause death?
  • It is known as the “silent killer” because some people with high blood pressure don’t even know they have it since there are often no symptoms?

Blood pressure is the force of blood against the walls of your arteries. The only way to determine your blood pressure is to have it checked regularly by your doctor, with your own blood pressure monitor or at your local drug store or grocery store. Blood pressure is measured with 2 numbers (e.g. 120/80mmHg). The first number is called systolic pressure and the second number is diastolic pressure.

 

Defining High Blood Pressure1

 

Blood Pressure (mmHg)

Normal blood pressure

120 to 129/80 to 84

High-normal blood pressure
(borderline hypertension)

130 to 139/85 to 89

High blood pressure 
(hypertension)

140 to 159/90 to 99

 

Target Levels to Aim For if You Have High Blood Pressure1

 

Target Blood Pressure (mmHg)

High Blood Pressure

<140/90

High Blood Pressure & Diabetes

<130/80

High Blood Pressure & Chronic Kidney Disease

<130/80

 

How Can I Control High Blood Pressure?

Making changes to your lifestyle can help control high blood pressure. Here are the top six things you can do:

 

1) Enhance Your Nutrition. Eating better is one of the most important ways to lower your blood pressure. Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables and calcium rich foods as well as reducing alcohol consumption and lowering your intake of salt are just a few of the key strategies1. For more detailed information visit our article Nutrition Packs a Punch for Lowering High Blood Pressure.”

 

2) Get More Physical Activity! To reduce your risk of high blood pressure and to lower your blood pressure it is recommended you get 30-60 minutes of moderate intensity activity 4-7 times per week1. For more information on boosting your physical activity visit our articleFitness – Get Activated!”.

 

3) Squash Smoke Exposure. Smoking and exposure to second hand smoke increases your risk of many health issues including increased blood pressure.2 For more information visit Health Canada’s Quit 4 Life website www.quit4life.com.

 

4) Move to a Healthy Weight. Managing a healthy weight is one of the most important ways you can keep your blood pressure healthy. Even losing a few pounds if you are overweight often lowers your blood pressure. For more information on the most effective ways to lose weight visit our article Weight Loss Wisdom.”

 

5) Stress Busting. For many people sustained stress can increase blood pressure and increase the risk of heart disease.For some helpful stress management tips visit http://www.mindtools.com/smpage.html.

 

6) Visit Your Doctor Regularly. Regular visits with your doctor are important to monitor your blood pressure, blood sugars, cholesterol levels and other risk factors for heart disease. If you want a copy of a journal for your blood pressure click here: Blood Pressure Record. (Click here if Adobe® Reader® is required.) Lifestyle changes are the most effective method of decreasing blood pressure. However, if these methods are unsuccessful, it may be necessary for your doctor to prescribe medications.

 

Looking for More Information?

Heart and Stroke Foundation www.heartandstroke.ca

The Canadian Hypertension Society www.hypertension.ca

 

References:

2007 Canadian Hypertension Education Program Recommendations www.hypertension.ca.

Heart and Stroke Foundation www.heartandstroke.ca

  • Approximately 95% of Canadians will develop high blood pressure – or “hypertension” – if they live an average lifespan?1
  • Approximately one-half of adult Canadians have high blood pressure by age 60?1
  • High blood pressure significantly increases your risk of heart disease, stroke and kidney disease?2
  • High blood pressure can cause death?
  • It is known as the “silent killer” because some people with high blood pressure don’t even know they have it since there are often no symptoms?