High Blood Pressure Control
What is High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure is commonly referred to as hypertension. High blood pressure occurs when there is a large buildup of plaque in your blood vessels which forces high amounts of pressure against your arteries. The presence of plaque narrows your arteries. When the heart must pump blood through clogged arteries, this increases blood pressure. Nearly half of adults (47%) in the United States have hypertension. High blood pressure develops over a period of years and generally goes undetectable due to silent symptoms; however, it is easily detectable.
Who is at risk of developing high blood pressure?
Individuals who maintain unhealthy diets high in trans-fat, consume large amounts of sodium, do not participate in physical activity, and have an unhealthy living environment are most at risk for developing high blood pressure. Adults who fall between the ages of 40 to 65 years are also at risk. Minority populations experience a higher rate of hypertension. Minority populations most at risk include African Americans, who have a 56% rate of hypertension.
Lowering High Blood Pressure
The following activities are recommended to lower blood pressure:
- Eating a healthier diet
- Increase daily physical activity to at least 30 minutes per day (this can be broken into bouts of 5 or 10 minutes)
- Follow your health care professional’s instructions on taking your medications
- Regularly measure blood pressure
- Quit using tobacco products