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High Blood Pressure: Risk Factor for Heart Disease, Stroke

love yourself. check your blood pressure.

High Blood Pressure in South Carolina

About 1 in 3 South Carolinians have been told by a doctor that they have high blood pressure, also called hypertension. Thousands more South Carolinians have high blood pressure and don’t know it.

The Silent Killer

High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. It’s a condition where the pressure of the blood in your arteries is too high.

Because there are usually no symptoms, high blood pressure is often called the “silent killer.” The best way to find out if you have high blood pressure is to get it checked regularly.

Know Your Numbers

Blood pressure is the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. Blood pressure is measured with two numbers, and is written with one number on top of the other:

Description: 110= Systolic (the pressure when your heart pumps blood), 70= Diastolic (the pressure when your heart relaxes between beats)

What's Normal?

Normal

Pre-Hypertension

Hypertension

Systolic
(Top Number)

Below 120

120 to 139

140 or higher

AND

OR

OR

Diastolic
(Bottom Number)

Below 80

80 to 89

90 or higher

Both the top and bottom numbers are important. For example, if your blood pressure is 118/94, you have high blood pressure because the bottom number is too high – even though the top number is in the normal range.

How Can I Lower My Blood Pressure?

  • Eat less than 1,500 mg of sodium (salt) per day
  • Aim for a healthy weight
  • Get at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week
  • Take your medicine
  • Stop smoking

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