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High Blood Pressure or Hypertension

What is high blood pressure and hypertension?
Blood pressure is the measured force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as your heart pumps blood out to the rest of the body (systolic blood pressure) and as your heart relaxes (diastolic blood pressure). If this pressure rises and stays high over time, it is called high blood pressure or hypertension and it can cause damage to the body in different ways. Normal blood pressure is when the systolic measurement is less than 120 and the diastolic is less than 80. In some women, blood pressure becomes high during pregnancy, which can present special risks to both the mother and the fetus.

What are the risk factors for high blood pressure?
Individuals at a greater risk for high blood pressure or hypertension include older adults, people who are overweight or have unhealthy lifestyles, those with a family history of high blood pressure, and African Americans.

What are warning signs?
Generally there are no symptoms associated with high blood pressure or hypertension. Occasionally when the blood pressure is very high, symptoms including headaches, blurred vision or shortness of breath may exist.

How is high blood pressure diagnosed and treated?
High blood pressure is measured by a simple test performed in a physician's office by inflating a cuff around the patientís arm. It is treated through lifestyle modifications, including a low-salt diet, and abstinence from alcohol. Medications can also be useful.

To make an appointment with a Womenís Heart NY physician, please call
(877) WOMEN-00/(877) 966-3600.

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