High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
We often hear about high blood pressure but what exactly is it and why should we be conscious of it? Known as the “Silent Killer,” high blood pressure or hypertension is estimated to affect over 110 million people worldwide yet most people don’t know they have it. It often only reveals itself when it causes more serious problems such as heart attacks, heart failure or strokes.
High Blood Pressure is when the force of your blood against the walls of your blood vessels is high enough that it could impact your health negatively. Your blood pressure is affected by the amount of blood your heart is pumping and any resistance it might come across in your arteries. Regular blood pressure readings coupled with healthy eating and exercise habits can help you understand how your body works so you can develop your own routine to keep hypertension at bay.
Your blood pressure reading numbers are representative of two different actions that the blood takes when your heart is beating.
- Systolic Pressure: Force of the blood pumping out of the heart, through the arteries of the circulatory system.
- Diastolic Pressure: Force of the blood when the heart rests between beats.
Below is a chart, per the American Heart Association, that provides guidelines for what is considered healthy levels.
While the risk of high blood pressure increases as you age, there are other risks you can actively work on to improve your heart health. At Semler Health, we follow what we call the Semler S.H.O.E.S. for heart health. Every individual is different but we know there are certain common risk factors that can lead to high blood pressure. Dr. Semler’s S.H.O.E.S. is meant to provide basic guidelines to start your journey to a healthier heart and looks like this: