KentuckyOne Health Stresses Importance of Maintaining a Normal Blood Pressure
Louisville, Ky. (August 15, 2014)— Blood pressure is the force of blood against artery walls as it circulates the body, and commonly rises and falls throughout the day. It’s when blood pressure stays high for a long time that it can become a serious health problem. KentuckyOne Health reminds individuals the dangers of high blood pressure and when to seek treatment.
Doctors measure blood pressure in mmHg by examining the systolic and diastolic pressures. A normal blood pressure reading is less than 120 systolic and less than 80 diastolic, or 120/80 mmHg. A person at risk for high blood pressure will have a reading between 120-139/80-89 mmHg, where high blood pressure is when the reading is higher than 140/90 mmHg.
“Initially, someone with high blood pressure may not have any bothersome symptoms. It can be easy to ignore it, until after years of damage have already been done,” said Joshua Bentley, M.D., KentuckyOne Health Primary Care. “Checking blood pressure is inexpensive, risk-free and should be done at every visit to your primary care provider.”
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), one in three American adults have high blood pressure, which accounts for about 78 million people. Anyone, including children, can get high blood pressure.
“Blood pressure is influenced by numerous factors: your age, gender, the food you eat, smoking, caffeine intake, and can be a sign of undiagnosed medical problems,” said Dr. Bentley. “Uncontrolled high blood pressure contributes to thousands of deaths every day.”
High blood pressure can lead to heart disease and stroke, the number one cause of death in the United States. Roughly 69 percent of people who have a first heart attack, 77 percent who have a first stroke and 74 percent who have congestive heart failure, also have dangerously high blood pressure.
“The importance of blood pressure control is very clearly illustrated by its role in stroke, heart disease and kidney failure” said Dr. Bentley. “There are a variety of medications used to treat blood pressure when necessary. However, the importance of lifestyle changes, such as making better food choices, getting regular exercise, and quitting smoking, can't be overemphasized.”
If you have concerns about your blood pressure, contact your primary care physician.
For free blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose screenings, stop by the KentuckyOne Health booth from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Kentucky Fair and Expo Center, South Wing, Health Horizons, during the Kentucky State Fair on happening now until Aug. 24,
About KentuckyOne Health
KentuckyOne Health was formed when two major Kentucky health care organizations came together in early 2012. KentuckyOne Health combines the Jewish and Catholic heritages of the two former systems – Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare and Saint Joseph Health System. In late 2012, the organization formed a partnership with the University of Louisville Hospital | James Graham Brown Cancer Center. The nonprofit system is committed to improving the health of Kentuckians by integrating medical research, education, technology and health care services wherever patients receive care. KentuckyOne Health has more than 200 locations including hospitals, physician groups, clinics, primary care centers, specialty institutes and home health agencies across the state of Kentucky and southern Indiana.
Blood Pressure Fact Sheet
- Blood pressure is the force of blood against your artery walls as it circulates through your body.
- Blood pressure normally rises and falls throughout the day, but it can cause health problems if it stays high for a long time.
- One in three American adults have high blood pressure – about 78 million people.
- Anyone, even children, can develop high blood pressure.
- High blood pressure contributes to 1,000 deaths per day.
- Several factors can increase the risk for high blood pressure, including age, sex and race/ethnicity.
- High blood pressure usually has no signs or symptoms.
- Doctors measure blood pressure in mmHg by examining the systolic and diastolic pressures. The ranges are:
- Normal – Less than 120 systolic; less than 80 diastolic
- At Risk – 120-139 systolic; 80-89 diastolic
- High – 140 systolic or higher; 90 diastolic or higher
- High blood pressure can lead to heart disease and stroke – the leading cause of death in the United States.
- About 69 percent of people who have a first heart attack, 77 percent who have a first stroke and 74 percent who have congestive heart failure, also have a blood pressure in the dangerously high range (140/90 mmHg or higher).
- Eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking and being physically active can reduce the risk for high blood pressure.
- In addition to diet and exercise, doctors treat high blood pressure with medications, such as diuretics or beta-blockers.