Skip to Main Content

May is National Blood Pressure Education Month

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a common health condition that millions of Americans have been diagnosed with. Since high blood pressure has the potential to lead to more serious conditions, it’s vital to monitor your blood pressure in order to keep it at a safe level.

High Blood Pressure – Facts and Statistics

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 68 million Americans have high blood pressure; and high blood pressure is linked to some potentially lethal health conditions.

  • High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, congestive heart failure, and kidney disease.
  • High blood pressure was a primary or contributing cause of death for 336,353 Americans in 2007.
  • There were more than 46 million visits to doctor’s offices for hypertension in 2007.


Person taking a blood pressure test

Calculating Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of Mercury (mmHg); and measurements are taken when the heart beats(systolic) and when it’s at rest between heartbeats(diastolic). So, if a doctor says that your blood pressure is 120 over 80, this means your systolic blood pressure is 120 mmHg and your diastolic blood pressure is 80 mmHg.

Normal, healthy blood pressure is less than 120 mmHg over less than 80 mmHg. Blood pressure that is only slightly above normal, prehypertension, is diagnosed in those with a systolic pressure of 120-139 mmHg or a diastolic pressure of over 80-89 mmHg. High blood pressure diagnosis begins at a systolic pressure of 140 mmHg or a diastolic pressure of 90 mmHg.

Risk Factors Associated With High Blood Pressure

  • High sodium diets
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Diabetes

High Blood Pressure Prevention and Treatment

Around one out of three American adults has high blood pressure, and one out of three adults with high blood pressure don’t seek medical treatment. Fortunately, there are plenty of steps you can take to prevent and/or treat high blood pressure to stave off the severe health conditions it can lead to:

  • Have your blood pressure checked regularly.
  • Maintain a normal body weight (body mass index (BMI) of 18.5–24.9; BMI is kilograms divided by height in meters squared).
  • Take at least 1 brisk 10-minute walk, 3 times a day, 5 days a week. Follow a healthy eating plan of a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and low in sodium.
  • Quit smoking.
  • If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so in moderation (no more than 2 drinks per day for men and no more than 1 drink per day for women).
  • If you have high blood pressure and are prescribed medication(s), take as directed.


The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institute of Health (NIH), recommends stress management to promote a heart-healthy life that can help reduce the risk of high blood pressure.

A Heart-Healthy Diet

In the 1990s, the NIH developed the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet to promote a heart-healthy eating style.

Heart healthy foods for good blood pressure

DASH Diet Recommendations

  • Eating vegetables, fruits, and whole grains
  • Including fat-free or low-fat dairy products, fish, poultry, beans, nuts, and vegetable oils
  • Limiting foods that are high in saturated fat, such as fatty meats, full-fat dairy products, and tropical oils such as coconut, palm kernel, and palm oils
  • Limiting sugar-sweetened beverages and sweets.


Living a Heart-Healthy Life at San Simeon

At San Simeon by the Sound, our team of in-house and on-call medical professionals works directly with each of our residents to ensure they receive nourishment and care tailored to their specific needs. This is just one of the reasons why our patient-centered care facility has been ranked as one of America’s Best Nursing Homes by US News and World Report.

This entry was posted in Adult Medical-Model Day Care, Aging, Health, Long-Term Care, News. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.