Disease Prevention in Women - Blood Pressure

How often do you get your blood pressure checked? Do you self-monitor or get it checked by a professional?

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High blood pressure (hypertension)

About one-sixth of all Americans have high blood pressure, and the incidence of this disease increases with age. Consequently, the proportion among adults is higher, and it is even higher among seniors. African-Americans are more likely than others to have high blood pressure.

High blood pressure can cause arterial disease (atherosclerosis) that can lead to heart attack, congestive heart failure, stroke, and kidney failure.

Screening tests

Blood pressure measurements

  • High-normal blood pressure is 130-139/85-89.
  • Stage 1 hypertension is 140-159/90-99.
  • Stages 2 and 3 blood pressure are >160 / >100.

Who to test and how often

  • How often blood pressure should be checked depends on how severely elevated the blood pressure is. It also depends on the presence of other risk factors for heart attack and stroke.
  • Adults with most recent normal blood pressure of systolic < 130 and diastolic < 85 should be checked at least every other year.

Benefits of early detection

High blood pressure can cause diseases without any early warning symptoms.

There is good evidence that treatment of high blood pressure can reduce the risk of heart diseases, stroke, and kidney failure.

Actually there is good evidence that adults with all degrees of high blood pressure can benefit from blood pressure lowering, thus it is important to discuss with your doctor about weight management, exercise, and stress management.

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