High blood pressure is a health problem that affects Hispanics in a big way. Another name for high blood pressure is hypertension.
Heart disease is the Number 1 killer for all Americans, and stroke is Number 4.
High blood pressure is dangerous to your health. If you have it, you are more likely to have a heart attack or stroke.
Blood pressure is how hard the blood pushes on walls of arteries. Arteries carry blood from the heart to other parts of the body. If a person has high blood pressure, it means that their arteries always get too much pressure. This can damage your arteries and can cause heart disease and stroke.
High blood pressure is known as the “silent killer.” Blood pressure is different from other health problems. You can have it and feel just fine. It can damage your heart (or other organs) long before you find out you have it.
That’s why blood pressure checks are so important. When you go to your doctor, they always check your blood pressure. They check two numbers to measure blood pressure. The top number (called “systolic”) is the force of blood in your arteries during a heartbeat. The bottom number (called “diastolic”) is the force of blood in your arteries between heartbeats. Each number is important.
What your blood pressure numbers mean
You have normal blood pressure if:
- Your top number is below 120
- AND Your bottom number is below 80
You are close to having high blood pressure (pre-hypertension) if:
- Your top number is 120 to 139
- OR Your bottom number is 80 to 89
You have high blood pressure stage 1 (hypertension stage 1) if:
- Your top number is 140 to 159
- OR Your bottom number is 90 to 99
You have high blood pressure stage 2 (hypertension stage 2) if:
- Your top number is 160 or more
- OR Your bottom number is 100 or more