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High Blood Pressure Quick Facts

Taking medications for high blood pressure does not cure it, but may help manage some of the symptoms.

Hypertensive people are 3-4 times more likely to develop heart disease, and 3-7 times more likely to have a stroke - even with medications.

What is Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is the driving force moving blood throughout the body.

Resting blood pressure in healthy individuals is 120/80; without medications.

The first or top number is the systolic blood pressure, which is the pressure of the blood against the artery walls during the contraction phase of the heart.

The second or bottom number is the diastolic pressure, which is the pressure against the artery walls when the heart is resting between beats.

During exercise, systolic and mean BP typically increase, and diastolic remains close to or slightly less than resting. Medications may alter this.

EXERCISE is CRUCIAL to improving and controlling blood pressure!

Exercise makes the heart stronger. Therefore, it does not have to work so hard to circulate blood throughout the body.

Other Factors To Control Blood Pressure:

*If overweight, lose weight and body fat

*Limit alcohol to less than 1 oz/day

*Reduce sodium to less than 2.3 g/day


*Reduce dietary fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol

*Maintain adequate dietary potassium, calcium, and magnesium intake.

*For specific diet planning and recommendations, see a Registered Dietitian.

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