Fighting back against the “silent killer”
High blood pressure (HBP, or hypertension) is a symptomless “silent killer” that quietly damages blood vessels and leads to serious health problems.
While there is no cure, using medications as prescribed and making lifestyle changes can enhance your quality of life and reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and more.
Know your numbers
If you’re diagnosed with high blood pressure, you should monitor your blood pressure regularly. Maintaining an awareness of your numbers can alert you to any changes and help you detect patterns. Tracking your results over time will also reveal if the changes you’ve made are working. Download a printable blood pressure log (PDF).
|BLOOD PRESSURE CATEGORY||SYSTOLIC mm Hg (upper number)||and/or||DIASTOLIC mm Hg (lower number)|
|NORMAL||LESS THAN 120||and||LESS THAN 80|
|ELEVATED||120 – 129||and||LESS THAN 80|
|HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE (HYPERTENSION) STAGE 1||130 – 139||or||80 – 89|
|HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE (HYPERTENSION) STAGE 2||140 OR HIGHER||or||90 OR HIGHER|
|HYPERTENSIVE CRISIS (consult your doctor immediately)||HIGHER THAN 180||and/or||HIGHER THAN 120|
Make changes that matter:
- Eat a well-balanced diet that's low in salt
- Limit alcohol
- Enjoy regular physical activity
- Manage stress
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Quit smoking
- Take your medications properly
- Work together with your doctor
Managing blood pressure is a lifelong commitment
If you have high blood pressure, it’s vital that you listen to your doctor. Remember: You’re a part of your healthcare team. You and your doctor are partners.
Educate yourself about HBP and learn how to monitor your blood pressure at home. Armed with this information, you can commit to living heart healthy.
By adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle, you can:
- Reduce high blood pressure.
- Prevent or delay the development of high blood pressure.
- Enhance the effectiveness of blood pressure medications.
- Lower your risk of heart attack, stroke, heart failure, kidney damage, vision loss and sexual dysfunction.
You can fight high blood pressure
While heart disease is still the No. 1 killer in the United States and around the world, death rates have decreased significantly. Earlier and better treatment of high blood pressure has played a key role in that decrease.