High blood pressure is the most important risk factor for heart disease.
What is Hypertension?
Blood pressure is essential for us all to survive; without it our blood vessels would collapse. Hypertension, on the other hand, refers to blood pressure above a defined safe limit. Hypertension forces the heart to work harder and it is the single most important risk factor for coronary heart disease and stroke.
Because hypertension generally has no symptoms it is essential that you have your blood pressure checked on a regular basis. A blood pressure measurement gives you a reading consisting of two numbers for example 120/80.
What do the numbers mean?
The systolic pressure (the higher number) is the pressure in the blood vessels when your heart compresses to pump blood around the body.
The diastolic pressure (the lower number) is the pressure in the blood vessels when the heart fills up with blood in between heart beats.
Blood pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg).
What is considered high blood pressure?
A reading of 120/80 mmHg is considered to be the optimal blood pressure for a healthy individual. In simplistic terms, hypertension is defined as blood pressure greater than 140/90 mmHg. Because blood pressure fluctuates throughout the day, however, most recent guidance advises hypertension to be diagnosed based on measurement over 24-hours known as ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM).
How can I control my blood pressure?
At Lucan Village Pharmacy we offer a free blood pressure monitoring service. You can call into the pharmacy at any time to get your blood pressure checked and receive relevant advice and guidance.
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