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. And while it's easy to get your blood pressure
measured at most drug stores or malls in the country, too many Americans either
don't know their blood pressure or don't know what the numbers mean.
"120 over 80" is a normal blood pressure for most adult
Americans. What's even more important, however, is to know what's "normal"
for you. The top number is called the systolic pressure; the bottom number
is the diastolic pressure of 80 The scope of what we call "high blood pressure"
can happen with an elevated top number alone, bottom number alone, or both.
The good news is that hypertension is simple to diagnose and can be effectively
treated with lifestyle modifications and medicine.
Created: 12/22/2003  - Donnica Moore, M.D.