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Sharp Health News

Blood pressure by the numbers (infographic)

July 24, 2018

Leer en español

A blood pressure reading: it's one of the most routine — and important — tests you'll have. It can tell you a lot about the health of your heart. So we asked Dr. James Kim, a cardiovascular disease doctor affiliated with Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center, to explain the process. And more importantly, what your results mean for your health.

Blood pressure by the numbers (infographic). 1 in 3 people have high blood pressure. But few people understand how blood pressure is measured, or what those measurements mean. Take ownership of your health by learning the basics. What is blood pressure? Blood pressure is the force of blood against artery walls. It's measured in two ways: Systolic (First or top number). Pressure during heartbeats. Diastolic (Second or bottom number). Pressure between heartbeats. What do the numbers mean? Normal category. Systolic is below 120 and Diastolic is below 80. Elevated (called prehypertension). Systolic is 120 to 129 and Diastolic is below 80. High (called hypertension). Systolic is above 130 or Diastolic is above 80. *Recommendations courtesy of American Heart Association: pressure. Why it matters. High blood pressure can lead to heart attack, stroke, heart failure, kidney disease or failure, vision loss and/or sexual dysfunction. 8 ways to manage a healthy blood pressure. Eat a low-salt diet. Limit alcohol, Enjoy regular physical activity. Manage stress. Maintain a healthy weight. Quit smoking. Take your medications properly. Work together with your doctor. From the expert. Hypertension is a silent, invisible killer, contributing to more deaths per year than strokes, opioid overdoses and gun violence combined. Ask to see your cardiologist to make sure you and your family members have controlled blood pressure. - Dr. James Kim, a cardiologist affiliated with Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center. 2018 Sharp HealthCare. All rights reserved.

View the printable version of this infographic.

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