World Hypertension Day

High blood pressure is a major cause of heart disease, stroke, vascular disease and kidney disease, and contributes to dementia. Sometimes, hypertension has no warning signs or symptoms, and many people do not know they have it until the development of complications. Healthy attitudes and lifestyle changes can help combat hypertension:

  • Eat a healthy diet that is:
    • Low in salt (sodium), total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol
    • High in fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Be active. Try taking a 10000 steps 3 to 5 times a week
  • Participate in social gatherings
  • Do not smoke
  • Take your medication on time and as indicated by your physician

Target blood pressure differs according to age and associated medical condition such as patients with diabetes or chronic kidney disease.

Based on the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines of 2017 for the detection, prevention, management and treatment of high blood pressure, the blood pressure categories in the new guideline are:

  • Normal: Less than 120/80 mm Hg;
  • Elevated: Systolic between 120-129 and diastolic less than 80;
  • Stage 1 hypertension: Systolic between 130-139 or diastolic between 80-89;
  • Stage 2 hypertension: Systolic at least 140 or diastolic at least 90 mm Hg;
  • Hypertensive crisis: Systolic over 180 and/or diastolic over 120

If lifestyle modifications are insufficient to achieve the goal BP, there are several drug options that a healthcare provider can prescribe to control hypertension. 

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