Heart Healthy for the Holidays--Hypertension
We think of high blood pressure as something that increases with stress. .
.and the holiday season has lots of triggers! This condition is actually a silent
public health enemy: it affects one in four adults, generally with no symptoms,
and is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and death. High blood
pressure or hypertension is a condition where the pressure of your blood traveling
through your arteries is higher than normal. This force can damage the walls
of the blood vessels and cause the heart to have to work harder.
Hypertension affects women and men equally,
although men are more likely to be affected younger and women are more likely
to be affected after menopause. Hypertension is the most common reason for medical
visits and total prescription drug sales in the United States.
We asked cardiologist Dr. Dervilla McCann what blood pressure is, numbers we
need to keep in mind.
"120 over 80 is a normal blood pressure, optimal blood pressure is a
systolic pressure of 120 and a diastolic pressure of 80, but high blood pressure
happens in a sort of a spectrum of disease and anything under 130 systolic and
less than 85 diastolic is considered normal".
The good news is that hypertension is simple to diagnose and can be effectively
treated with lifestyle modifications and medicine.
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Created: 12/19/2000  - Donnica Moore, M.D.