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P750-A 7 Steps to a Healthy Heart

STEP 2 10 Even if you are young and feel healthy, have your blood pressure checked at least once a year. Don’t be misled if you feel good on the outside—it’s how healthy your blood vessels are, and how you look on the inside that is important. If you already have high blood pressure, you should get it checked more often. Consider buying an inexpensive automatic blood pressure machine that lets you measure your blood pressure daily and provides a print-out of the results. In addition to your doctor’s office or neighborhood clinic, you can get your blood pressure checked at some health clubs, shopping malls, pharmacies, or special events, such as a health fair at your church or other place of worship. Adopting a healthy lifestyle is important for anyone with high blood pressure. But in addition to a healthy lifestyle, most people who have high blood pressure also need to take medications. Your health care provider can advise you about the many effective blood pressure medications that are available. Measuring Blood Pressure Your blood pressure measurement includes two numbers, such as 120/80 mmHg. ■■ The top or higher number is the amount of pressure while your heart is pumping blood. This is called the systolic pressure. ■■ The bottom or lower number is the amount of pressure when your heart rests between beats. This is the diastolic pressure. A healthy blood pressure for an adult is below 120/80 mmHg. Over time, high blood pressure damages your arteries and organs, which can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and other health problems. Even borderline blood pressure levels (starting at 120/80 mmHg but less than 140/90 mmHg) may increase your risk of health problems. This is called prehypertension. Remember; you can look and feel fine but still have high blood pressure. Don’t wait until the damage starts before you find out you’re at risk! Simply get your blood pressure checked each year. Even children should have their blood pressure checked annually, as part of a preventive health exam. Blood pressure categories (for ages 18 and over) Category Systolic Diastolic Normal Below 120 Below 80 Prehypertension* 120-139 80-90 High Blood Pressure 140 or higher 90 or higher


P750-A 7 Steps to a Healthy Heart
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