Hypertension, often referred to as high blood pressure, can affect the body in many ways as it can lead to an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, or other serious disease. Known as the silent killer, it doesn’t always show symptoms until it’s caused serious damage to the body.
Nearly half of all adults in the United States have high blood pressure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
For those who aren’t familiar with healthy blood pressure levels in comparison to hypertension, here’s a handy chart to help understand blood pressure readings according to the American Heart Association:
|BLOOD PRESSURE CATEGORY||SYSTOLIC mm Hg
|and/or||DIASTOLIC mm Hg
|NORMAL||LESS THAN 120||and||LESS THAN 80|
|ELEVATED||120 – 129||and||LESS THAN 80|
|HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE (HYPERTENSION) STAGE 1||130 – 139||or||80 – 89|
|HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE (HYPERTENSION) STAGE 2||140 OR HIGHER||or||90 OR HIGHER|
(consult your doctor immediately)
|HIGHER THAN 180||and/or||HIGHER THAN 120|
Note: A diagnosis of high blood pressure must be confirmed with a medical professional. A doctor should also evaluate any unusually low blood pressure readings.
The American Heart Association shares the best protection against hypertension is knowledge, management and prevention.
- It’s important to regularly check your blood pressure – one of the many benefits of donating blood with Vitalant. Each donation includes a mini-physical and full panel of tests that help you track your health history, which includes your pulse, blood pressure, hemoglobin and cholesterol which is housed in your secure and confidential online account.
- To help prevent hypertension or manage high blood pressure, live a heart-healthy lifestyle. Eat a well-balanced diet that is low in salt, limit alcohol, don’t smoke, stay active, manage stress and work with your doctor. Even if you need blood pressure medication, these changes can help those medications be more effective.
Have you had your blood pressure checked lately? This May, honor Hypertension Awareness Month with a blood donation to receive your free mini-physical and monitor your blood pressure, all while helping to save lives.