Know The Facts

PCI Training class6• High blood pressure (hypertension) killed 49,707 Americans in 2002. Because the consequences associated with high blood pressure are so serious, early detection, treatment, and control are important.

• Hypertension increases the risk for heart disease and stroke, both leading causes of death in the United States. About 1 in 3 American adults have high blood pressure. Hypertension affects about 2 in 5 African Americans, 1 in 5 Hispanics and Native Americans, and 1 in 6 Asians.

• What do blood pressure numbers indicate? Blood pressure is often written as two numbers. The top (systolic) number represents the pressure while the heart is beating. The bottom (diastolic) number represents the pressure when the heart is resting between beats.

 

• Hypertension for adults is defined as a systolic pressure of 140 mmHg or higher, or a diastolic pressure of 90 mmHg or higher.

• Normal blood pressure is a systolic blood pressure less than 120 and a diastolic blood pressure less than 80.

• Prehypertension is defined as a systolic blood pressure of 120-139 mmHg or a diastolic blood pressure of 80-89 mmHg. Persons with prehypertension are at increased risk to progress to hypertension.

• Among people with high blood pressure, 30% don’t even know they have it.

• Hypertension is easily detectable and usually controllable with lifestyle modifications such as increasing physical activity or reducing dietary salt intake, with or without medications.

• The Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of  Hypertension (JNC-7) recommends that adults have their blood pressure checked regularly.

More information about hypertension is available at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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