The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that hypertension – high blood pressure – affects 75 million Americans. That’s 29 percent of the population. We asked Roy Robertson, MD, Parkview Heart Institute, to offer more on what qualifies as a high reading, what can be done to prevent it and why hypertension is so dangerous.
What is hypertension?
Hypertension is simply high blood pressure.
What is considered normal? High?
We consider 120/80 a normal blood pressure. If it’s 140/90 that’s definitely high blood pressure.
What affects my blood pressure?
It’s normal for blood pressure to vary depending on the stressors of the day.
Factors that play into your blood pressure numbers:
- Daily activities
- Sleep (7-8 hours of sleep is optimal)
- Other coinciding medical conditions
What’s the best approach for testing?
Healthcare professionals are concerned about the homeostasis blood pressure of an individual. Patients can test blood pressure at home for homeostasis numbers. Make a log of your numbers throughout the day. You can bring your blood pressure monitor into the doctor’s office for calibration. Your blood pressure should not be the same all the time.
How can hypertension be prevented?
Healthy lifestyle choices and, absolutely, quit smoking. Eat a healthy, balanced diet, exercise, and get plenty of sleep.
It’s important to remember that hypertension is common and manageable, but you have to check your blood pressure regularly. You might not have any symptoms. For more, speak to your primary care provider.