Hypertension also known as high blood pressure (HBP) occurs when “your blood pressure, the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your blood vessels, is consistently too high,” according to the American Heart Association (AHA). It is often referred to as the “silent killer” because there are rarely any early symptoms and it contributes to up to 60,000 American deaths annually as it greatly increases one’s risk for serious and chronic illness such as heart attacks, strokes, and kidney disease.
The AHA strongly suggests monitoring your blood pressure and knowing your blood pressure readings as this could save your life. Understanding what these readings mean, are also important. Here are the AHA’s guidelines:
- Normal – Systolic (upper number) Less than 120mm Hg AND Diastolic (lower number) Less than 80mm Hg
- Elevated – Systolic 120-129 AND Diastolic Less than 80
- HBP/Hypertension Stage 1 – Systolic 130-139 OR Diastolic 80-89
- HBP/Hypertension Stage 2 – Systolic 140 or higher OR Diastolic 90 or higher
- Hypertensive Crisis (Seek Medical Attention Immediately!!) – Systolic higher than 180 AND/OR higher than 120
You are encouraged to speak with your primary healthcare provider about any family history of hypertension and to monitor your blood pressure. You may also ask about ways to keep your blood pressure under control. To schedule an annual physical at any of our convenient Primary Medical Care Center community clinics, you may visit our website at www.primarymed.com, or call (305)751-1500 for our Miami-Dade clinic, or (954)289-0000 for our Broward clinic.