Hypertension is defined as blood pressure readings that are consistently higher than normal. Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and consists of two numbers (e.g. 120/80 mmHg):
- The first number (e.g. 120) refers to the systolic pressure and represents the pressure of the heart when it contracts.
- The second number (e.g. 80) refers to the diastolic pressure and represents the pressure of the heart when it relaxes.
High blood pressure is one of the leading causes in health problems including stroke, heart attacks, heart failure and kidney failures. Therefore it is important to prevent high blood pressure to minimize the risk of developing these conditions. High blood pressure can happen to anyone but is more common in older people.
Do you know what your blood pressure reading should be?
- For most people including those with kidney disease, the blood pressure should be less than 140/90mmHg at a doctor’s office, or less than 130/80 mmHg when taken at home.
- For people over the age of 80, the systolic pressure should be less than 160mmHg when taken at a doctor’s office.
- For people with diabetes, the blood pressure should be less than 130/80mmHg.
Go get your blood pressure taken today. And check out Hypertension Canada for many useful resources on hypertension.